Healthy recipes to try this Ramadan

Ramadan is a time best-known for the fasting that Muslims practice during the holy month – 30 days when, between sunrise and sunset, observers go without food or drink. The experience is meant to honor the privilege of having plenty and create empathy for the many people around the world who go without on a regular basis.

Because of Islam’s lunar calendar, this year Ramadan takes place during some of the longest days of the year, meaning that practicing Long Islanders will be fasting for more than 15 hours a day.

From meals packed with protein and whole grains to creative salads and healthy desserts that indulge your sweet tooth, we’ve gathered a collection of healthy recipes to help you survive the longer days. Use the tools below to search for a recipe that works for you – and check back every day to see our featured recipe. You can also share your own dishes by sending a photo and the recipe to

That’s SO Long Island Results

Long Island

That's So Long Island

Round 6 results

We’ve got the results on what you think defines Long Island.

How are your picks faring in Newsday’s “That’s SO Long Island” tournament? This page will give you live results as the competition plays out, so you’ll always know where your favorites stand.

You can vote on each match-up once every 24 hours, so be sure to come back to throw your support behind the foods, places, celebrities and activities you want to see advance to the next round.

Use the share buttons located at the top of each matchup to rally your friends to vote.

Voting for Round 6 will end in:

Go vote!

That’s SO Long Island Bracket

That’s SO Long Island Bracket

Think you can predict the four finalists of Newsday’s “That’s SO Long Island” tournament? Check out the full brackets and submit your predictions using the form below to enter our contest for a chance to win a $500 American Express gift card. Contest entry period ends July 6, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be announced on July 21. See full contest rules.


That’s SO Long Island: How this works


What’s more Long Island than blasting Billy Joel while driving your family to Splish Splash? After a quick stop for bagels, that is.

But if you had to pick one thing that best defines life on Long Island, what would it be?

We’ve pitted 64 foods, attractions, celebrities and activities against each other in 32 matchups — now it’s time for you to vote for the one that’s most deserving of the title: “That’s SO Long Island.”

1. For each matchup, click on the one you feel is more “So Long Island.” On mobile, just tap.

2. You can see results after you vote, so share the matchup through social media and get your friends voting (hopefully for your pick!). You can vote on each matchup once every 24 hours.

3. If you don’t want to go in order, skip around by clicking on the four categories on the left. After you complete a category, you’ll see a check mark on the menu.

4. There are six rounds of voting before the final “That’s SO Long Island” winner is crowned, so make sure to come back! Times are listed below.

5. Think you can predict the four finalists of Newsday’s “That’s SO Long Island” tournament? Check out the full bracket and submit your predictions to enter our contest for a chance to win a $500 American Express gift card. Contest entry period ends July 6, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be announced on July 21. See full contest rules.


Here’s the voting schedule:


Round 1 (32 matchups): Monday, June 30 (12:01 a.m.) – Wednesday, July 2 (5:00 p.m.)
Round 2 (16 matchups): Wednesday, July 2 (10:00 p.m.) – Sunday, July 6 (5:00 p.m.)
Round 3 (8 matchups): Sunday, July 6 (10:00 p.m.) – Wednesday, July 9 (5:00 p.m.)
Round 4 (4 matchups): Wednesday, July 9 (10:00 p.m.) – Sunday, July 13 (5:00 p.m.)
Round 5 (2 matchups): Sunday, July 13 (10:00 p.m.) – Wednesday, July 16 (5:00 p.m.)
Round 6 (championship matchup): Wednesday, July 16 (10:00 p.m.) – Sunday, July 20 (5:00 p.m.)

Tournament winner and contest winner announced: Monday, July 21 (after 12 p.m.)​

Contest entry period: June 30 – July 6 (11:59 p.m.)


That’s SO Long Island: Official contest entry rules

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1. Eligibility: No purchase necessary. Contest open to persons age 18 and over at the time of entry. Employees of Newsday LLC (the “Sponsor”), its advertising or promotion agencies, parent companies, service providers, agents, officers, subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other persons or entities directly associated with the Contest (collectively, the “Contest Entities”) and members of the immediate families of and/or persons living in the same household as such persons are ineligible to enter the Contest. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. Contest is void where prohibited.

2. Contest Entry Period: The Contest Entry Period begins at 12:01 a.m. on June 30, 2014 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on July 6, 2014 (the “Contest Entry Period”). All times noted for the Contest Entry Period are Eastern Time. To be eligible, entries must be received within the Contest Entry Period.

3. How to Enter: To enter, go to the web page at, fully complete the entry form, and select the four items you believe will emerge as the winners of their respective categories (Celebrities, Attractions, Food & Activities) for the tournament based on votes from users. To be eligible, entry must be submitted by the end of the Contest Entry Period, which is 11:59 p.m. on July 6, 2014. Failure to submit all required information in the manner required in these Official Rules or pursuant to the onscreen instructions may result in disqualification. One entry per person. All Entries become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be returned.

4 Winner Selection: The entrant who correctly picks the four finalists, one from each of the 4 categories, as voted on by users will be the winner. In the event of a tie, the entrant who submitted his/her picks first will be the winner. The decisions of the judges and Sponsor with respect to the selection of the winner(s) and in regard to all matters relating to this Contest are within Sponsor’s sole discretion and shall be final. Winner will be notified on or about July 21, 2014 via email and/or telephone.

5. Prizes: One (1) First Prize winner will receive an American Express Gift card valued at $500.

Winner is solely responsible for all state, local or federal taxes associated with the winning of the prize. Prizing is not refundable or redeemable for cash or credit at any time. Prize may not be sold or transferred to a third party. No substitutions are allowed, except by the Sponsor in its sole discretion. Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, substitute a prize of equal or greater value. Other prize restrictions may apply.

6. General Conditions: By accepting a prize, winner grants to Sponsor and its parent companies and affiliates the right to use his or her name, likeness, image, voice, testimonial and/or biographical information, in advertising and promotion in all media without further compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law. By entering Contest and/or acceptance of prize, winner agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor and its parent companies, affiliates, employees, contractors and agents from any and all loses or injuries of any kind arising out their participation in the Contest and/or acceptance and use of the prize or any technical malfunctions of the network and/or transmission line, computer on-line system, computer dating mechanism, computer equipment, hardware, software, or any combination thereof, or any entries that are late (including delayed data transmissions), tampered with, garbled, incomplete, misdirected, lost, mutilated, delayed, corrupted, mechanically duplicated, illegible or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules. Prizewinner may be required to execute an affidavit of eligibility and release within five (5) calendar days of notification and before distribution of prize. Any prize notification not responded to within forty-eight hours, any affidavit/release returned as undeliverable, and/or failure of winners to return the affidavit and release will result in disqualification from the Contest and prize forfeiture. In the event winner fails to claim his/her prize or fails to meet the eligibility requirements, such winner will forfeit his/her prize.

7. Disclaimers: Entrants agree that the Contest Entities are not responsible or liable for damage to an entrant’s and/or third party’s computer system in any way due to participation in the Contest or downloading any information in connection with the Contest, including without limitation any server failure, lost, delayed or corrupted data or other malfunction. No responsibility is assumed for late, lost, damaged, incomplete, illegible, or misdirected submissions. No responsibility is assumed for technical, hardware, software or other online entry malfunctions of any kind or unavailable network connections, or failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications caused by the sender, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest which may limit the ability to participate, or by any human error which may occur in the processing of the entry.

8. Internet: If for any reason, this Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, tampering, fraud, technical failure, or any other cause which corrupts or threatens the administration, security or integrity of the Contest, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate or suspend the Contest or any portion of the Contest. Any attempt to damage or undermine the fair and legitimate operation of this Contest will result in disqualification from the Contest.


10. PRIVACY STATEMENT: Entrants’ information may be disclosed by Sponsor as provided for in these Official Rules, and as permitted by Sponsor’s privacy policy posted at

11. Winners List: For identity of prizewinner, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Winners List, That’s So Long Island, Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Road, Melville, New York 11747, by January 31, 2015.

Sponsor of this Contest is Newsday LLC (Sponsor or Newsday), 235 Pinelawn Road, Melville, New York 11747.

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That’s SO Long Island

Round 6 of 6


Long Island What's so Long Island

Will it be Billy Joel or Jones Beach? Newsday readers cast more than 520,000 votes in our "That's SO Long Island" tournament and on Monday, July 21 we'll crown the winner. Check back at noon to see which contestant was chosen to represent Long Island and find out who won $500 in our reader predictions contest.

Prom Through the Parents’ Eyes

We’ve all seen the videos of high school seniors dressed to the nines in the parents’ driveways before getting in that limo to go to the prom. But Newsday decided to turn the camera on Long Island parents to capture their emotions during this rite of passage. In the process we found one parent who feels blessed she’s still here to see her child off to the prom, and another dealing with the mixed emotions of going to the prom with a special-needs daughter. We even found one parent who realized that when it comes to the magic of prom night, age is nothing but a number. Click on the pictures below to view the videos. Hashtag your prom photos #LIProms on Twitter and Instagram, and you may see them on And if you have a Prom Through the Parents’ Eyes story that you think we should know about, email

LI’s 2014 Extraordinary Seniors

Challenges are part of life. So are highs and lows, unfortunate happenstance and silver linings.

The 2014 class of Extraordinary Seniors has had brushes with all of the above, and in the process made deliberate and thoughtful choices for themselves that often intentionally resulted in a greater, more beneficial impact on others.

Humble, passionate, ambitious and compassionate are a few terms that describe Newsday’s Extraordinary Seniors. They were selected from dozens of letters submitted by guidance counselors and principals across Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Read their full stories here.

Ryley Conway, Hauppauge High School

More about Ryley

From the time she was in elementary school, Ryley Conway knew she didn’t fit the mold of star students who were all about academics, inclined to the arts or very athletic. She saw a different path in her thirst to know the world beyond her Long Island community.

Conway reveled in stories from an older brother who traveled to remote lands and sought to know more. After living in India for a year through the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program, Ryley Conway, a senior from Hauppauge High School, realized she was passionate about human rights. Conway will study at Ohio’s John Carroll University in the fall and major in Peace, Justice and Human Rights.

Eswar Dommaraju, Hicksville High School

More about Eswar

When Eswar Dommaraju isn’t earning straight A’s or participating in community activities with the youth group he helped create, he is most likely volunteering at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, practicing the Indian tabla percussion instrument, or participating in clubs and sports.

Dommaraju, 17, moved to Hicksville from Queens when he was in sixth grade. In 10th grade he and a group of friends decided to pitch the idea of a youth group to the Telugu Literary and Cultural Association, an organization his family had joined.

Julia Eberhard, Mount Sinai High School

More about Julia

If Julia Eberhard decides to go to medical school, she will be way ahead of the game. After all, she’s already comfortable teaching surgery.

When Eberhard, 18, was having trouble getting Mount Sinai High School guidance counselor Audra Falco to visualize the latest operation she underwent related to her Marfan’s syndrome, the student Falco describes as a “science fanatic” just punched up a video of the procedure on the computer so they could watch it together.

Reed Ginsberg, Jericho High School

More about Reed

Nothing has come easily for Reed Ginsberg. He just makes it look that way.

Ginsberg, 18, is lauded by teachers and coaches at Jericho High School for his ability to combine his talent for math and technology with his interest in sports and music.

His honors include the prestigious Alice Griswold Award at the 2013 Long Island Math Fair and most-valuable player last year in the state high school soccer championships.

His accomplishments obscure the wounds he has endured since birth from a series of illnesses and accidents.

Matthew Giovanniello, South Side High School

More about Matthew

When Matthew Giovanniello’s grandmother had a paralyzing stroke in 2008, he knew he had to find a way to communicate with her. They had always been close — Theresa Giovanniello cooked a big lasagna dinner for his family and they saw her almost every weekend.

But after her stroke, Matthew, who at the time was in the seventh grade, noticed that in therapy she failed to respond to flashcards of stick figures and random clip art of houses and cars. He designed a PowerPoint computer program that included photos of family members and his grandmother’s home and dog.

Kwasi Enin, William Floyd High School

More about Kwasi

When Kwasi Enin takes his viola out of its blue-felt-lined case, there’s a healthy dusting of rosin under the strings. It’s well used. The scholar, who made international news when he got accepted to all eight Ivy League schools, is a virtuoso, too.

Enin of Shirley said he plays music for about 18 hours a week. He sings, plays the viola, piano and electric bass; and throughout his time at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, he has participated in chamber orchestra, annual musicals and the men’s a cappella group. Last year he received a perfect score in his all-state choir audition. Watch a video of Kwasi answering as many questions as possible in 30 seconds, an article on his acceptance to eight Ivy league institutions, and an article about his decision to go to Yale.

Tae Hoon Kim, Jericho High School

More about Tae Hoon

It was only five years ago that Tae Hoon Kim’s family moved from South Korea to Philadelphia, with hopes of providing him and his younger sister with better educational opportunities.

Kim, then 13, said his English-speaking experience consisted solely of a couple years of basic English classes at school in his native country. He knew the alphabet and could get by conversationally, but he realized that he needed to learn the language quickly to succeed in America.

To help expand his vocabulary and comprehension, the determined Kim said he began with the basics: Dr. Seuss.

Sodasia Thompson, Bay Shore High

More about Sodasia

Sodasia Thompson has learned to work around the obstacles that could have kept her from her goals.

When she couldn’t attend a music program at her school, Bay Shore High, the summer before her sophomore year because she had to work, she met with the instructor every day an hour before her job started to soak up all she could.

Thompson, 18, was raised by her aunt, Claudia Bizzle of Bay Shore, after her mother could no longer care for her.

“She is the greatest person on earth,” Thompson said. “She literally saved my life. If I ask her for something, she will try her absolute hardest to get it for me.”

Kellenberg girls, Kellenberg Memorial High School

Classmates Erin Von Elm, Anneliese Riesterer and Sarah Lyne are three of a kind in an improbable and inspiring way. They were each diagnosed with brain ailments, months apart during their junior year, that required surgery to save their lives or maintain basic functions.

Von Elm was the first to learn she had a tumor, followed by Riesterer’s diagnosis of an arteriovenous malformation and then Lyne’s diagnosis of two brain tumors. Von Elm and Riesterer were neighbors and friends whose shared experience only brought them closer. They knew of Lyne, but never really interacted because they were in different social groups. That all changed when doctors found a tumor in Lyne’s brain.

Sarah Lyne, Kellenberg Memorial High School

More about Sarah

Sarah Lyne, 18, had endured headaches for two years before an MRI in January 2013 revealed a tumor. Leaving it in place meant side effects that included a droopy face and impaired speech and mobility.

The next month, Lyne, who lives in Lido Beach, went to the hospital for her scheduled surgery and was met with more devastating news — a second tumor had been found. “That was terrible,” she said.

Lyne underwent surgery that day and both tumors were removed. She was released from the hospital after five days but couldn’t walk after the procedure and had to use a walker for a short period. The surgery also caused damage to her neck, and she is still trying to regain her full range of motion. Lyne, who had played on Kellenberg’s soccer team for three years, had to sit out her senior season. But she stayed involved by becoming team manager.

Anneliese Riesterer, Kellenberg Memorial High School

More about Anneliese

About four months after Von Elm started having headaches, Anneliese Riesterer woke up early on a Saturday at home in Hempstead with a bad pain in the back of her head. She told her mother and they eventually called 911.

At first, they were told it could be the flu and that she didn’t need to go to the hospital. But the pain got worse so they called 911 again and an ambulance arrived. Riesterer’s father, Karl, a former EMT, came home to check on her. “I remember sitting at the top of the stairs, seeing the EMTs bring in the stretcher, and then I blacked out,” she recalled.

In July 2013, the malformation was removed using a gamma knife, a much less invasive surgery than originally scheduled. A stroke affected the left side of her body, so she can’t run and has yet to regain fine motor skills in her left hand.

Riesterer had played tennis for nine years. She can no longer do so, but last season she was named team manager. At the fall athletics banquet, she was given the “Most Committed Player” award.

Erin Von Elm, Kellenberg Memorial High School

More about Erin

Erin Von Elm, now 17, started having headaches in September 2012, soon after the start of junior year. She went to see her doctor and was told the cause was likely stress — unless she awoke the next day in similar pain. “Of course the next morning I open my eyes with the headache and I ran downstairs,” she said.

Von Elm, who lives in Hempstead, went to Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park and was told she had an atypical neurocytoma — a rare tumor at the center of her brain. She’s had 31 radiation treatments after her surgeries. A piece of the tumor remains and could eventually grow.

Von Elm said she is excited about going to college so she can “turn something that was so terrible into something great.” She will attend Hofstra University, where she plans to study education. She wants to work as a specialist assisting patients and their families at Cohen, where her surgeries were performed.

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Wedding Dress Style Guide

Finding the perfect dress may not always be a piece of (wedding) cake. While a certain style may work well with one body type, it may not flatter another. Wedding Helper Karen Ruffini enlisted designer Liz Marshall to illustrate some of today’s most popular dress styles and help brides determine which would suit them best. From recommendations for each body type to fun facts about celebrities who’ve worn each style, our hope is that you’ll walk away informed — and down the aisle with confidence.

Click on each illustration to see which dress is the perfect fit for you  — so you can say “I do” without the hassle of trying on the entire bridal boutique.

Edward Walsh investigation: Brushes with the law

Edward Walsh, the Conservative Party’s Suffolk County chairman and a county correction lieutenant, has risen to positions of power and influence despite incidents that could have derailed his career.

Civil service and sheriff’s records from Walsh’s background check show in 1988 he tested positive for the barbiturate phenobarbital in a failed bid to work for the NYPD and was arrested in 1984 as a University of Maryland student and sentenced to 12 months’ probation for a misdemeanor sex offense. Walsh did not disclose the Maryland arrest on his application, as is required.

Walsh was arrested again on a felony criminal mischief charge in 1989, less than a year before he applied to work for the sheriff’s office. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a violation, according to the documents.

Two years ago, Suffolk County law enforcement officials raided a Medford business and discovered illegal gambling, drugs and more than two dozen people, including Walsh. Although he was not among those arrested, Walsh’s presence amid illegal activity sparked an investigation, the results of which have never been made public.

Now, Walsh, 48, is among the targets of a sheriff’s investigation into whether correction department employees stole wages by padding their salaries with hours they never worked.

Suffolk Conservative Chairman Edward Walsh

Suffolk Conservative Chairman Edward Walsh in 2014. (Newsday)

In interviews with Newsday over the past six weeks, Walsh denied he had done anything wrong and blamed political enemies for trying to undermine the positive work he does for Long Island and the Conservative Party.

“It is what it is, and there’s nothing I can do about that,” Walsh said. “I go to work every day. I do my job. I’m passionate. I try to help my community. I try to make a difference in the world. That’s what I do by being in the Conservative Party.”

The Smithtown News in December 2011 first reported about Walsh’s Maryland sex offense charge and the challenge he faced later in applying to the sheriff’s office. The story was based on documents widely circulated by Lawrence Gray, a former state prosecutor and frequent Walsh critic, who called on Walsh to register as a sex offender.

Newsday obtained those same documents and is writing about them for the first time.

Walsh emerged from the roughly yearlong vetting process with an offer to join the sheriff’s office, despite its initial objection to his eligibility because of the information uncovered during his background check. The reason for reversing Walsh’s planned removal from the applicant pool is not indicated in the documents.

Walsh — whose father, Ed Walsh Sr., served as a committeeman alongside fellow Islip Conservative Michael Mahoney, the brother of then-Sheriff Patrick Mahoney — has worked for the sheriff’s office for the past 23 years. He made more than $200,000 in 2013, according to payroll records, and at least another $62,000 as the county’s Conservative Party chairman, a position that has made him an influential political figure in Suffolk County.

Michael D. O’Donohoe, a longtime Suffolk County Conservative Party committeeman, former county legislator and Suffolk’s current commissioner of jurors, said high salaries inside the sheriff’s office and allegations of stolen time have “tainted” the Conservative line. O’Donohoe supported the investigation into Walsh and other employees by Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, who, like Walsh and O’Donohoe, is a member of the Conservative Party.

“He has to square this up,” O’Donohoe said of DeMarco. “This isn’t going down well with Joe Six-Pack.”

DeMarco declined to discuss the specifics of the probe but confirmed that Walsh had been officially notified about two weeks ago that he is the target of an ongoing internal affairs investigation.

Asked whether he would have hired Walsh given his past issues, DeMarco said: “We have sought to have people disqualified for less.”

Maryland arrest

Mary Salins said she didn’t need to call the police the night she was attacked outside a University of Maryland dorm. They came running to her.

“I screamed, and that’s what alerted the security police,” Salins said.

A December 1984 police report from the incident shows that cops arrested 18-year-old Edward Walsh, a former star athlete at East Islip High who was then a 6-foot-6, 250-pound freshman on a Maryland football scholarship. Salins said she had been walking on campus when Walsh suddenly knocked her boyfriend down and then groped her between her legs.

Walsh’s biography from the 1986 University of Maryland football program.

As frightening as that was, Salins said what stays with her to this day is going to court to testify and seeing Walsh, flanked by several of his football buddies, making fun of her and directing a vulgar comment her way.

Court records show Walsh was charged with a misdemeanor fourth-degree sex offense and that the disposition of the case was 12 months’ probation before judgment. Years later, after Walsh applied to join the Suffolk County sheriff’s office, a Maryland judge granted his request to have the records expunged.

Walsh did not respond directly to questions about the Maryland case. His attorney, Frank Tinari of Central Islip, said Walsh denies that he committed a sex offense and says that the charge against him had been dismissed.

John Kudel, a criminal defense attorney and the immediate past president of the Maryland State Bar Association, said probation before judgment does not mean a charge has been dismissed.

Kudel, who was not involved in Walsh’s case, said probation before judgment indicates the defendant pleaded guilty or no contest or was found guilty at trial. Either way, “the judge finds that person guilty,” Kudel said.

William Welch, a Maryland criminal defense attorney who has been practicing law for 21 years, agreed that a “finding of guilt” precedes probation before judgment.

“You get a conviction,” said Welch, who also was not involved in Walsh’s case. But the conviction is temporary, and once the defendant agrees to waive his right to appeal, “the court strikes the conviction,” Welch said.

Salins, whose last name was Hughes at the time, had not spoken to the media about her encounter with Walsh until she was contacted by a Newsday reporter. She said she didn’t know Walsh before the incident and was unaware that he had gone on to become a Suffolk County political figure and law enforcement officer. Salins does not live in New York.

Tinari said that the way the Maryland case ended suggests that Salins’ credibility was in question.

“I want you to consider the fact that maybe the prosecutor in Maryland, after the prosecutor interviewed this woman or this person who made these allegations, didn’t believe the person or didn’t feel that the person’s allegations made any sense or were believable in any shape or form,” Tinari said.

The disposition of Walsh’s case does not indicate doubt by the prosecutor, Kudel said.

“The prosecutor may very well be opposed to a probation before judgment, but the judge granted it anyway,” Kudel said.

Background check

Besides records related to the Maryland case, the documents Gray circulated from Walsh’s background check included letters between sheriff’s investigators and the Suffolk County Department of Civil Service.

According to an October 1990 letter from Frederick Brotschul, the commanding officer of the sheriff’s personnel investigations unit, Walsh did not mention his Maryland arrest on his candidate questionnaire.

“Mr. Walsh denied that he has been arrested until certain specifics of the arrest were brought to his attention,” Brotschul wrote.

Another letter, from Administrative Lt. Frank Jenkins, states that in 1988 the New York City Police Department found Walsh “not qualified due to an unauthorized substance in his system during his health examination.”

The drug for which Walsh tested positive, phenobarbital, is a central nervous system depressant with a potential for abuse, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

I can’t tell you how disturbing this is and how upset I am to see something like this.” — Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning, on Walsh’s 1984 sex offense arrest

Walsh said in an interview that he doesn’t use recreational drugs and had been prescribed the phenobarbital but couldn’t remember why.

Jenkins wrote in his letter that Walsh had “the opportunity to submit a valid prescription to overturn his disqualification” for the NYPD job but was “unable to produce one.”

Walsh said he missed the deadline to submit his prescription.

“I have chronic sinus infections and to this day, when I go to the doctor, I’m always on Claritin and everything else,” Walsh said. “It had to be something like that, and when I sent the appeal back I was too late. I was an idiot kid.”

Joseph Nathan, an associate professor of pharmacy with Long Island University, said the FDA approves of the use of phenobarbital as a sedative and for the management of seizures. He could not find any information suggesting it could treat chronic sinus infections.

“Although medications are commonly used for non-FDA-approved uses, I am not aware of such a use for phenobarbital,” Nathan said.

Walsh: Spota cleared me

Jenkins also wrote that Walsh “attempted to mislead the investigation process by supplying deceptive information which contradicted the factual information supplied by other governmental agencies.”

In an October letter to Walsh, Alan Schneider, the county’s Civil Service chief, wrote: “The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department has submitted a formal challenge to your eligibility to remain” on the list of candidates. Walsh was given nine days to offer an explanation and submit facts to help his cause but never did, according to a source involved in vetting his candidacy.

Still, the sheriff’s office dropped its challenge to Walsh’s eligibility before the nine days expired and then-Sheriff Mahoney hired Walsh two months later. Mahoney did not respond to a call for comment.

After the Smithtown News wrote about Walsh’s background investigation, Suffolk County Legis. Kate M. Browning (WF-Shirley) announced during a February 2012 meeting of the Public Safety Committee she chairs that she thought an independent, state investigation into Walsh’s hiring might be appropriate.

“I can’t tell you how disturbing this is and how upset I am to see something like this,” Browning said to sheriff’s office Chief of Staff Mike Sharkey. “Again, if you lie on a Civil Service application, you don’t get the job. And I want to know how this person got the job, if, in fact, any of this is true.”

Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning speaks Dec. 12, 2013, while chairing a meeting of the Public Safety Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature. (Ed Betz)

Sharkey told Browning that Sheriff DeMarco and Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota’s office were already investigating the matter.

Before Browning ever raised the issue, Spota had already concluded his review and informed Walsh in a letter that the Maryland case ended “without a finding of verdict, or, in other words no conviction for a criminal or noncriminal offense was entered.”

Therefore, Walsh did not need to register as a sex offender, as Gray had suggested, according to Spota’s letter.

“Since you have never been convicted, no registration under the Sex Offender Registry Act is contemplated or required in this State or another. A plain reading of the Sex Offender Registry Act makes that abundantly clear,” the letter states.

Browning said Tuesday she doesn’t believe that her request for an investigation was handled adequately. She said she wants state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to investigate whether Walsh lied on his civil service application and determine if he should have been “eligible for the job.”

“I think the attorney general needs to step in,” Browning said. “I think that’s where it should go.”

Walsh said that Spota’s letter exonerated him of wrongdoing.

“I did nothing wrong,” Walsh said. “I’m telling you that that cut-and-paste stuff and all that other junk is garbage. Just talk to the district attorney. They don’t give anybody a free ride.”

Robert Clifford, Spota’s spokesman, wrote in an email Wednesday: “This office did not exonerate any person. We simply recited the fact that after review, Mr. Walsh does not have a criminal conviction.”

Gambling raid

Four months after Browning’s call for an investigation into Walsh, the Suffolk County Police Department raided an illegal gambling operation in Medford. Court records show about 30 people were present at the June 12, 2012, event.

Though he is not named in the court papers, Walsh acknowledged to Newsday that he was there to play cards.

Police raided an illegal gambling operation at this Medford storefront on June 12, 2012, at which Walsh was present. (Newsday)

Police arrested at least three people on illegal gambling charges, according to court records. Two of them have been convicted of promoting gambling in the second degree, a misdemeanor. The case for a third defendant is ongoing.

Walsh said police did not handcuff him or arrest him. He said after a period of time they told him, “OK, Mr. Walsh, have a good day” and sent him on his way.

“It’s absolutely not illegal to play cards,” Walsh said. “If you want to write a story that says Eddie Walsh plays cards, he definitely does.”

Browning sent a letter to DeMarco 10 days after the raid asking whether Walsh had been drug-tested or suspended pending an investigation.

“It is the duty of a law enforcement officer to report any crime in progress if it is observed by that officer regardless if they are on duty or not,” Browning’s letter states.

Walsh’s presence at the illegal card game led to an investigation by the Suffolk Police Department and District Attorney Spota, according to a source informed of the investigations.

I play cards. I own up to that. Politics is the biggest card game I play.” — Edward Walsh

On May 5, Newsday filed requests with the police department and Spota’s office for records related to the investigation into Walsh.

The police department acknowledged the request on May 9, within the five-day deadline required by law, but has yet to produce any records. Spota’s office has not responded to the records request at all, a violation of the state’s public records law.

Suffolk DA spokesman Clifford wrote in an email Wednesday that his office had responded and that there was “clearly a failure on the part of Newsday to properly sort and deliver mail.” Clifford refused Newsday’s request Wednesday to provide the communication he said his office had sent.

DeMarco said the Suffolk County Police Department informed his office that Walsh had been present at the card game and that his office requested all pertinent records. No records were provided, DeMarco said.

“We were told by them that he was there and we said, ‘OK, can you send us a copy of the report, incident report or a field report?’ ” DeMarco said. “And we never got one, and we still don’t have a report.”

Walsh said he did nothing wrong that night in Medford.

“If I’m guilty of anything, I’m guilty of playing cards,” Walsh said. “I play cards. I own up to that. Politics is the biggest card game I play.”

Minor party, major influence

Walsh took over the leadership of Islip’s Conservative Party after Michael Mahoney died in 2002.

Walsh’s father, a longtime Conservative Party activist and committeeman, served four years in the 1970s as chairman of the Islip Town Conservative Party. Michael Mahoney later assumed the same position shortly after his brother hired the junior Walsh to work for him at the sheriff’s office.

Walsh became the Conservatives’ Suffolk County leader in 2006 with a promise to end the party’s infighting and a vision to assert the party’s power in political races beyond the judiciary.

O’Donohoe said at the time he had high hopes for Walsh.

“He’s looking to re-establish the party’s credibility and show we’re not just for sale,” O’Donohoe said, according to a September 2006 Newsday story.

Edward Walsh, center, Suffolk County Conservative chairman, attends a campaign reception for Anthony Senft, left, on March 19, 2014. (Newsday)

With more than 21,000 registered Conservatives in Suffolk County, Walsh chairs the party’s largest constituency in the state.

As party chairman, Walsh can allow candidates not registered with his party to run on the Conservative line. That can be worth 8 percent to 15 percent of the vote, said Suffolk Democratic chairman Rich Schaffer, who has made endorsement deals with Walsh.

“In many elections they have the ability to determine who gets elected,” Schaffer said. “The Conservative Party’s influence is much larger than the raw number of registrants in the county.”

Republicans believe they can’t win without the Conservative line, and a Democrat who also holds the Conservative line is viewed as unbeatable, said Nassau County Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs.

Republicans “are desperate for it,” said Jacobs, who has negotiated with Walsh on judgeships. “If they don’t have the Conservative line, they’re not going to win.”

‘His word has been good’

Both allies and critics describe Walsh as a brash negotiator who uses his influence to secure for his supporters well-paid patronage positions and elected slots during cross-endorsement deals with other political party leaders.

For example, he negotiated a top position at the Suffolk County Board of Elections for Michael Torres, the Islip Conservative chairman, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations. And Walsh pushed Republican County leadership to have Islip Town Councilman Anthony Senft, a Conservative, be the Republican nominee for the competitive open State Senate seat in the 3rd District, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

Walsh is also surrounded in the Suffolk County sheriff’s office by those linked to the Conservative Party. The top eight paid employees in the sheriff’s office — and 17 of the top 30 — are all either Conservative town committeemen or have contributed to Conservative candidates or committees since 2009. Their contributions total more than $52,000 since 2009, including a $25,000 contribution Walsh made to his own committee, the Suffolk County Conservative Chairman’s Club, according to campaign finance records.

But much of Walsh’s focus has been on the judiciary, where he has bargained with party leaders in Nassau and Suffolk to pick judges and law clerks.

Newsday found that at least nine of the 27 Suffolk Supreme Court justices have Conservative law clerks or senior staff members, positions that are often a stepping-stone to judicial jobs.

Newsday has previously reported that Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Mondello punched a locker and broke a finger during a telephone argument with Walsh over 2012 judicial cross-endorsements.

Mondello declined to comment for this story. Suffolk GOP leader John Jay LaValle did not respond to requests for comment.

Jacobs said Walsh has “always been straight up” in negotiations with him.

“I only have good things to say about him,” Jacobs said. “Whenever he has dealt with me, his word has been good.”

O’Donohoe, the Conservative committeeman, spoke of Walsh in less favorable terms.

He said he supported Walsh’s rise to chairman in 2006 but was unaware of the sex offense charge, and that could have changed his mind.

If Walsh wants his support again in September, he needs to answer questions about his past, O’Donohoe said.

O’Donohoe said there’s a growing frustration among the party members who believe in conservative principles, and he’s concerned they will abandon the county party if it’s known for bloated salaries and political connections.

“We’re supposed to be the party of less government,” O’Donohoe said.

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