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Former DA Spota accused of making threats against ‘rats’

December 7, 2018

FILE - This Oct. 25, 2017 file photo shows Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, right, and his attorney Alan Vinegrad leaving the courthouse in Central Islip, N.Y., Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. Court papers filed Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 say then-Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota demanded in 2015 that a Suffolk police officer find out who was informing against then-Police Chief James Burke. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former district attorney for eastern Long Island threatened that any “rat” who was cooperating with federal authorities investigating a beating by the police chief “would never work in Suffolk County again.”

Court papers filed Thursday say then-Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota (SPOH’-tuh) demanded in 2015 that a Suffolk police officer find out who was informing against then-Police Chief James Burke.

Spota and the former chief of his anti-corruption bureau, Christopher McPartland, were indicted last year on charges they obstructed an FBI investigation that led to Burke’s conviction. Both have pleaded not guilty, and their attorneys say they deny all the charges against them.

Burke was sentenced in 2016 to serve 46 months for the 2012 beating of a man who had burglarized his SUV.

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