Overcast 38° Good Morning

The Politics of Corruption on Long Island

Criminal cases against 10 politicians and public officials

Over the past few years, prosecutors have charged Long Island politicians and public officials with crimes ranging from tax evasion to bribery. Some of these cases resulted in convictions, while others are ongoing. Follow Newsday’s latest coverage on the most prominent cases here.

(Last updated: March 16, 2018)

The County Executive

Edward Mangano

Charges: Conspiracy to commit federal program bribery; federal program bribery; conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud; honest services wire fraud; extortion; conspiracy to obstruct justice

Edward Mangano, Nassau’s county executive, was indicted in October 2016 and accused by federal prosecutors of receiving “bribes and kickbacks” from businessman Harendra Singh, who has pleaded guilty to providing them. Mangano’s wife, Linda, was charged with obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements involving “work she claimed to have performed” in an alleged no-show job from Singh, according to the indictment and prosecutors. Both Manganos pleaded not guilty. Jury selection for their trial began March 12, 2018.

More Stories

The District Attorney

Thomas Spota

Charges:Conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and obstruct an official proceeding; witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding; obstruction of justice; accessory after the fact to the deprivation of John Doe’s civil rights

Thomas Spota, the Suffolk County district attorney, was indicted in October 2017 on federal charges that he was involved in a cover-up of ex-Suffolk Police Chief James Burke’s 2012 assault of a suspect. U.S. attorneys say Spota, along with longtime aide Christopher McPartland, intimidated and pressured witnesses not to cooperate with federal investigators in order to protect Burke. Spota pleaded not guilty to the charges. A day after his plea, he announced he would leave the office he has held since 2002. His last day in office was Nov. 10, 2017.

More Stories

The Town Supervisor

John Venditto

Federal charges: Conspiracy to commit federal program bribery; federal program bribery; conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud; honest services wire fraud; obstruction of justice; false statements. In a superseding indictment: One count of securities fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to securities offerings; and 19 counts of wire fraud related to securities offerings

State charges: Corrupt use of position or authority; official misconduct; conspiracy; defrauding the government

John Venditto, Oyster Bay supervisor, was indicted on federal charges in October 2016. Venditto pleaded not guilty and resigned in January. His trial started on March 12, 2018. In June 2017, the Nassau DA indicted Venditto, who prosecutors said was involved in a real-estate deal and orchestrating a hiring. Venditto pleaded not guilty. A superseding federal indictment was announced Nov. 21 adding 21 charges involving allegations of securities fraud.

More Stories

The Councilman

Edward Ambrosino

Charges: Wire fraud; tax evasion; making and subscribing false corporate tax returns; failure to file return

Edward Ambrosino, a Hempstead Town Board councilman, was indicted in March 2017 and accused of failing to pay more than $250,000 in federal taxes on income, much of which federal prosecutors said came from jobs performed for Nassau County. Prosecutors said Ambrosino, a lawyer, siphoned off money for two years to a company he incorporated and underreported his earnings. In the week following Ambrosino’s arrest, the county Industrial Development Agency and Local Economic Assistance Corp. dropped him as one of their attorneys. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

More Stories

The Police Chief

James Burke

Convicted of: Deprivation of civil rights; conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice

James Burke, the Suffolk County Police Department’s former top uniformed officer, was indicted in December 2015 and charged by federal prosecutors with orchestrating an elaborate scheme to conceal his own crime. Burke, who was named Suffolk police chief in 2012, beat a handcuffed prisoner who had been charged with stealing a duffel bag from Burke’s police-issued vehicle, officials said. Burke pleaded guilty in February 2016 to conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and violating the victim’s civil rights and was sentenced in November 2016 to 46 months in prison. Burke has filed papers to appeal his sentence.

More Stories

The State Senator

Dean Skelos

Charges: Conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right; conspiracy to commit honest services fraud; extortion under color of official right; solicitation of bribes and gratuities

Dean Skelos, former Republican State Senate majority leader, was convicted in December 2015 of using his power to help his son, Adam, get jobs and payments from businesses. Federal prosecutors said the senator pressured three companies to give jobs, fees and benefits worth $300,000 to Adam, doing favors in Albany for the companies in return. He also intervened with Nassau County to help one of them on a contract, prosecutors said. His son was indicted on the same charges. In May 2016, Skelos was sentenced to 5 years, and his son was sentenced to 6½. In September 2017, an appeals court overturned the convictions. A retrial is set for June 2018.

More Stories

The Conservative party leader

Edward Walsh

Convicted of: Converts to own use property of another; fraud by wire, radio or television

Edward Walsh, then a lieutenant in the county sheriff’s office, golfed, gambled and politicked on the county’s dime, federal prosecutors said, while at the helm of Suffolk County’s Conservative Party. Walsh pleaded not guilty in March 2015 but was convicted in March 2016 for illegally collecting more than $200,000 in pay and overtime pay he didn’t earn. His conviction sparked a battle over leadership within the party he once led. In June 2017, Walsh was sentenced to 2 years in prison and was ordered to make $245,811.21 in restitution and forfeit an additional $245,811.21.

More Stories

The Town Commissioner

Frederick Ippolito

Federal charges: Attempt to evade or defeat tax

State charges: Money laundering; defrauding the government; official misconduct; bribe receiving; receiving reward for official misconduct; theft of services.

Frederick Ippolito, an Oyster Bay town official, pleaded guilty in January 2016 to a federal tax evasion charge in connection with $2 million in outside consulting fees he received while working as the town’s planning and development commissioner. He resigned two days after his plea. He was sentenced in September 2016 to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $550,000 in restitution. Ippolito died in prison in June 2017. On Dec. 12, 2017, a federal appellate court vacated the conviction because he died while appealing his conviction. In June 2017, Ippolito was charged by Nassau County prosecutors; a judge ended that case in September 2017.

More Stories

The Town Democratic leader

Gerard Terry

Convicted of: Felony tax fraud (state), tax evasion (federal)

Charges: Tax fraud (state); tax evasion (federal)

Gerard Terry, the former North Hempstead Democratic Party leader, was charged in April and August 2016 with tax fraud after Nassau prosecutors said he compiled more than $1.4 million in tax debts while receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in government work. He also was charged federally in February 2017 and pleaded not guilty. He resigned or was terminated from multiple public positions. In September 2017, Terry pleaded guilty in Nassau County to fourth-degree felony tax fraud. The judge set a sentencing hearing for November 2017. Terry pleaded guilty in October 2017 in federal court to tax evasion. He is scheduled to be sentenced in that case in February 2018.

More Stories

The District Attorney’s Aide

Christopher McPartland

Charges: Conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and obstruct an official proceeding; witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding; obstruction of justice; accessory after the fact to the deprivation of John Doe’s civil rights

Christopher McPartland, one of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s chief aides, who ran the office’s political corruption unit, was indicted along with Spota in October 2017 on federal charges related to allegations the two were involved in a cover-up of ex-Suffolk Police Chief James Burke’s assault of a suspect. McPartland pleaded not guilty to the charges. A spokesman for the district attorney’s office said McPartland since has been reassigned “to duties unrelated to his former responsibilities.”

More Stories

Producer: Heather Doyle

Designer: James Stewart

Photo credits: James Carbone, Charles Eckert, Ed Betz and Howard Schnapp

The Politics of Corruption: James Burke

Ex-Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke

James Burke

Convicted of: Deprivation of civil rights; conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice

James Burke, the Suffolk County Police Department’s former top uniformed officer, was indicted in December 2015 and charged by federal prosecutors with orchestrating an elaborate scheme to conceal his own crime. Burke, who was named Suffolk police chief in 2012, beat a handcuffed prisoner who had been charged with stealing a duffel bag from Burke’s police-issued vehicle, officials said. Burke pleaded guilty in February 2016 to conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and violating the victim’s civil rights and was sentenced in November 2016 to 46 months in prison. Burke has filed papers to appeal his sentence.

The latest on the Burke case

March 3, 2018: Editorial: Break up the game among Long Island political insiders Feb. 1, 2018: Suffolk agrees to settle Christopher Loeb’s lawsuit, officials say Jan. 26, 2018: Spota, former aide make brief court appearance in cover-up case> Dec. 23, 2017: Arc of Thomas Spota’s career marked by close relationship with police Nov. 27, 2017: Brown: Third time a charm for Suffolk top cop search? Nov. 8, 2017: Original charges against James Burke’s accuser dropped Oct. 28, 2017: Brown: Thomas Spota couldn’t continue as Suffolk DA Oct. 26, 2017: Burke, at heart of Spota case, receives $145G pension Oct. 26, 2017: DA Thomas Spota ‘leaving my post’ after federal indictment Oct. 26, 2017: Spota’s decades-long relationship with Burke leads to indictment Oct. 25, 2017: Suffolk DA Thomas Spota, top aide indicted in cover-up Oct. 25, 2017: Editorial: District Attorney Thomas Spota’s contempt for the law Aug. 4, 2017: Burke accuser charged with violating order of protection May 9, 2017: Sources: Drugs found in ex-Suffolk police chief Burke’s prison cell April 26, 2017: Attorneys: Christopher Loeb indictment should be thrown out April 1, 2017: Brown: Several investigations of Long Island public officials underway Jan. 31, 2017: Christopher Loeb goes free as guilty plea is set aside Dec. 21, 2016: ‘Numerous’ cops pleaded guilty in James Burke cover-up, court papers say Nov. 16, 2016: James Burke, ex-Suffolk police chief, appealing prison sentence Nov. 2, 2016: Ex-Suffolk police chief James Burke gets 46 months in prison Oct. 31, 2016: Prosecutors recommend 51-month jail sentence for James Burke Oct. 28, 2016: James Burke asks for no prison so he can care for ill mom Sept. 9, 2016: Former Suffolk police chief James Burke sentencing date set May 3, 2016: Steve Bellone was warned James Burke’s past would lead to scandal Feb. 2, 2016: James Burke, ex-Suffolk police chief, offered plea deal of about 5 years, sources say Dec. 9, 2015: James Burke’s arrest generates disappointment, concern in Suffolk Dec. 10, 2016: Janison: Suffolk’s official puzzles are piling up Dec. 10, 2015: James Burke, ex-Suffolk police chief, charged in assault, cover-up Dec. 8, 2015: James Burke, former Suffolk police chief of department, indicted, sources say Oct. 27, 2015: Suffolk Police Chief James Burke resigns as federal probe reopens Nov. 7, 2013: Man at center of case with top Suffolk cop Burke says chief, other cops beat him Oct. 24, 2013: Testimony: Burke left crime scene with duffel bag July 13, 2013: Culture of cover-up: How deep is it? June 27, 2013: Editorial: Suffolk chief crossed line of good judgment June 25, 2013: Sources: FBI probing Suffolk Chief of Police James Burke June 14, 2013: Police: Chief went to theft suspect’s home June 14: 2013: Man accused of stealing police gun belt, ammo in St. James
Other LI officials charged with abuse of power

Subscription Packages

Subscription Packages

Choose a plan that’s right for you. Upgrade or cancel anytime.

NFL Route Tree

NFL Route Tree

Each movement by a wide receiver is carefully coordinated, and they all stem from one thing: the route tree.

The route tree is a simple way for an offense to teach, organize and quickly call plays. It was developed by Don Coryell while coaching at San Diego State in the 1960s. He brought it to the NFL in the 1970s as a head coach with the Cardinals and Chargers.

Odd-numbered routes break out to the sideline, even-numbered ones into the middle. An offense can use these numbers to quickly tell the receivers what routes to run on a play. For instance, a call that has the number “958” means that one receiver runs a “go” route (9), one runs an “out” route (5) and one runs a “post” route (8).

Click on each tab below to learn more about each route in the route tree, as well as the best players (active or retired) to run each pattern.

1 Flat

Flat Play

A flat is a short, quick-hitting route run close to the line of scrimmage. The receiver takes a step upfield, then quickly breaks out toward the sideline. It’s called a flat route because it’s run into the area between the sideline and the hash marks, known as the flat.

Usually, flat routes are run by running backs out of the backfield, tight ends and speedier, more elusive receivers, since the play’s result mostly will depend on what they can do after they make the catch.

Flat routes are effective when a defense commits to covering deep or as a checkdown option against heavy pressure. They’re also good when a team needs to quickly gain a few yards and stop the clock during a two-minute drill. In addition, flats often are paired with one or two other routes as part of a combo route — “stick,” “flood,” “spacing,” “curl-flat” and “slant-flat,” among others — designed to put stress on a specific defender and force him to choose who to cover.

Best to run the route: Roger Craig

2 Slant

Slant Play

A slant is the inside-breaking relative of the flat route (meaning, it’s a short, quick route close to the line). Here, a receiver takes three steps upfield, then cuts in at a 45-degree angle and runs toward the middle of the field.

Slant routes are good for speedier, shiftier receivers who can quickly shake defenders and do damage after the catch. Odell Beckham Jr. is a perfect example — he’s made a habit of turning 5-yard slants into 60-yard touchdowns.

Slants are good against a defense that is playing off coverage and giving the receiver a cushion, or against man coverage (since the receiver’s inside break should give him a step on his defender). An offense also can throw the slant route against a blitz-happy defense, since the quarterback doesn’t have to wait for his receiver to get far downfield and can get the ball out quickly.

Best to run the route: Beckham, Jerry Rice, Andre Reed, Art Monk

3 Comeback

Comeback Play

A comeback is an intermediate route that usually covers about 10-15 yards. As soon as the receiver reaches the top of the route , he plants, turns out and runs back toward the sideline to make the reception.

The key part of a comeback route is the timing between the quarterback and the receiver. In an ideal situation, the ball should be at the receiver as soon as he turns around at the top of the route, so the quarterback needs to anticipate the break. The receiver’s ability to sell a “go” route also helps — the receiver wants to make the cornerback think he has to cover deep before making his cut. That would make the defender off-balance and create natural separation as the defender tries to recover.

A well-run comeback route can help a team beat man coverage. Like the other outside-breaking routes, it’s good if a team needs to drive down the field in a two-minute drill since the receiver already is close to the sideline to stop the clock.

Best to run the route: Michael Irvin, Steve Largent, Terrell Owens, Jarvis Landry

4 Curl

Curl Play

The curl — also called a “hook” or a “button hook” — is largely the same as the comeback route, with one key difference: When the receiver reaches the top of the route, he plants and turns back in toward the middle of the field. When run closer to the line of scrimmage (about five to eight yards downfield), a curl becomes a “hitch” route.

The curl relies heavily on timing and the ability to sell the go route. As soon as the receiver plants and turns, he should expect the ball to be there. At the same time, if he can convince the cornerback that he’s going deep, the inside break will be that much more effective as the defender has to react and make up ground.

The curl route is good against man coverage, for the above reason. It’s also part of several combo route concepts, including “curl-flat,” “smash,” “spacing” and “spot,” among many others.

Best to run the route: Michael Irvin, DeAndre Hopkins, Hines Ward

5 Out

Out Play

The out can be run at pretty much any level of the field, though it’s usually run at about a 10-yard depth. The receiver runs straight ahead when the ball is snapped, then once he reaches the top of the route, he sharply cuts 90 degrees toward the sideline.

Here, the receiver needs to be aware of the distance between him and the sideline — and be prepared to toe-tap to stay inbounds if the pass is outside. The cut also is important — if it’s not crisp enough, the defensive back will know what’s coming and can jump the route.

Out routes are very common in two-minute drills and other time-saving situations since it’s a great way to get a decent amount of yards and stop the clock. They can beat both man and deep zone coverages — the outside break should fool the defender in man, while a shorter out route could allow an opportunity for some yards after the catch against a deep zone such as Cover 4.

Best to run the route: Larry Fitzgerald, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison, Cris Carter

6 In

In Play

An in route (also called a “dig”) is the inside-breaking version of the out route.

An in route becomes a “drag” route when: (a) it’s run closer to the line of scrimmage with no stem, and (b) the receiver rounds off the route instead of sharply cutting inside.

The break on an in route needs to be crisp or else the receiver risks the defender diagnosing the play and putting himself in better position to jump the route. It also helps to have a receiver who can make catches in traffic since the middle of the field often is flooded with players.

Ins are very good against man coverage since the defender will have to recover against a strong-enough cut. Depending on the depth of the route, they can work against zone coverage — shorter routes can exploit deep coverage, while deeper ones can attack the area between the linebackers and the safeties. In routes also are used in several combo route concepts such as “levels” and “Mills”, while drag routes are popular in “mesh” combo routes or as checkdown options for a slot receiver or tight end.

Best to run the route: Larry Fitzgerald, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison, Cris Carter

7 Corner

Corner Play

A corner route, also known as a flag route, attacks the deep portion of the field. The receiver runs straight ahead for 10-15 yards, then cuts 45 degrees and runs diagonally toward the sideline. It’s called a corner or a flag route because it often is run to the pylons (which were flags in the old days) in the corners of the end zone.

The receiver should be able to create separation with his cut. He can sell an inside-breaking route against the cornerback by turning his head inside toward the quarterback right before he plants his foot and cuts outside. The quarterback often will wait for the receiver to make the cut before throwing and should place the throw to the receiver’s outside shoulder to help avoid defenders.

Corner routes are great against Cover 2, since there are coverage holes along the sidelines between the corner (who is covering the flat) and the safety help over the top. They’re also useful whenever the offense needs to get out of bounds on a chunk play, and are common in the “smash” combo route — the inside receiver runs a corner route, while the outside receiver runs a hitch — and other concepts where the defender has to choose whether to cover deep or shallow.

Best to run the route: Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Jerry Rice, Odell Beckham Jr., Jordy Nelson, DeAndre Hopkins

8 Post

Post Play

The post is the inside-breaking variation of the corner route. The receiver runs 10-15 yards downfield, then cuts 45 degrees inside and runs across the middle of the field. It’s called a post route because the receiver is running toward the goalposts.

A common variation of the post route is the “skinny post” or “bang 8,” in which the receiver runs a less severe angle than usual — in essence, narrowing the route.

The receiver should be able to handle catches in traffic, since he’ll likely have a safety bearing down on him. And like the corner route, the receiver should be able to create separation from his initial defender on the cut.

Posts are good against defenses with a single-high safety, such as Cover 1 or Cover 3, since the inside break allows the offense to attack the defender over the top. They can work against man, but the receiver needs to get good inside positioning on the defender and the quarterback needs to loft the pass over any underneath defenders. Skinny posts are good against Cover 3, since the narrower route can attack the small seam between the outside cornerback and the safety responsible for the deep middle third of the field.

Best to run the route: Torry Holt, Terrell Owens, Jerry Rice, Al Toon

9 Go

Comeback Play

This route has many names — you’ll also hear it go by “fly,” “streak” and “clearout” — but it’s the simplest of them all: a straight line downfield.

There are three ways a go route can play out: a pure over-the-shoulder throw-and-catch, a jump ball or a back-shoulder catch. The first is a result of pure speed — the receiver speeds by the defensive back, and the quarterback hits the receiver in stride. The second usually happens on underthrown passes, traditional over-the-top fades in the end zone, or instances where the receiver has a clear size advantage and can outmuscle his defender. The third is all about ball placement — the quarterback throws it behind the receiver, who adjusts based on where both he and the ball are in relation to the defender.

Of course, faster receivers such as DeSean Jackson are better at burning defensive backs, but bigger receivers also can have success on go routes. Jordy Nelson has mastered the back-shoulder fade concept with Aaron Rodgers, while Mike Evans uses his size and 37-inch vertical leap to make deep contested catches over defenders.

Go routes can beat both Cover 2 and 3, since the defense has only two (Cover 2) or three (Cover 3) defenders dropping back deep. So, if an offense sends enough players downfield, they should outnumber the defense. Go routes also can serve as decoys to take defensive backs out of the play and free up space for shorter underneath routes.

Best to run the route: Randy Moss, Tim Brown, Isaac Bruce, Tyreek Hill, Jackson, Evans, Nelson

Production: Nick Klopsis (with Bob Glauber) Design: James Stewart

Where six Long Island communities stand now, five years after Sandy

The Long Beach boardwalk. Bellport’s municipal dock. Freeport’s Nautical Mile. Montauk’s dunes. Homes, roads and beaches.

All were destroyed or severely damaged by superstorm Sandy in 2012 and required millions of dollars in local, state and federal funds to repair or rebuild.

Five years later, there’s still much to do in the South Shore communities that suffered the worst of the storm, officials say.

Here’s a look at how six communities have fared in the storm’s wake.

Long Beach'All of it was a struggle'

Damage sustained:

Sandy caused more than $150 million in damage to the Long Beach infrastructure and flooded the entire city under several feet of water from both the ocean on the south and bay channel to the north. As much as a foot of sand covered the barrier island. The iconic beachfront boardwalk was destroyed as were the city’s water and sewer treatment plants and several roads. Lower levels of condo and apartment high-rises, and hundreds of low-lying homes, were inundated.

“It was pure devastation. It looked like a blizzard of sand hit the city,” Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said. “I think it was a level of damage few had contemplated or expected. We had no choice but to instantly get to work on cleaning up.”

What changed:

Long Beach has received more than $100 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to rebuild infrastructure, including the $42 million 2.2-mile boardwalk. The city also spent $4 million to rebuild the city’s water system, $5.5 million to repair and upgrade the sewer system and $1.4 million to improve the drainage infrastructure. City officials installed 33 valves on the north shore to reverse street flooding into the bay.

What remains to be done:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues working on its $230 million oceanfront dune and jetty project to protect the city from an ocean storm surge. About half of the jetties have been completed and the project is expected to be completed next spring.

The city is starting a $12.5 million bulkheading project on the north bay-facing shore. Residents are responsible for adding their own bulkheads, using a city financing program.

The City Council is still reviewing a comprehensive plan that could relocate critical infrastructure away from the bay waterfront, and is using $18 million in state and Nassau County grants to convert the city’s sewer plant into a pump station, rather than spend $128 million to repair the aging and damaged plant.

“None of it came easy. All of it was a struggle,” Schnirman said. “I think we’re much better prepared than we were five years ago, but until these projects are completed, we won’t be as protected as we’d like to be.”

— John Asbury

Freeport'Six to seven feet of saltwater'

Damage sustained:

Freeport suffered about $100 million in damage to residential, commercial and municipal infrastructure, according to Mayor Robert Kennedy. Nearly 3,500 homes had saltwater flooding and 15,000 tons of garbage and oil washed away in the storm. Electrical substations flooded, as did the village’s Department of Public Works garage on Albany Avenue, which housed equipment for the Office of Emergency Management.

The Nautical Mile strip of restaurants and bars along the Woodcleft Canal was “destroyed” by electrical fires and flooding, Kennedy said.

“Everything south of Atlantic Avenue was flooded,” Kennedy said. “The entire Nautical Mile was under six to seven feet of saltwater.”

What’s changed:

Officials have spent more than $8 million to repair bulkheads along Freeport’s south shore and built a $1 million OEM facility to house equipment such as food, vehicles, generators and lighting on Long Beach Avenue, outside the 100-year flood zone, Kennedy said.

Freeport Electric disconnected its substations and has run higher voltage on overhead lines, the mayor said.

Low-lying flood-prone streets were elevated. The village has also installed “check valves” that work with the drainage system to prevent “nuisance flooding.”

What remains to be done:

Kennedy has been vocal in calling for tidal gates to be constructed on the west end at the entrance to East Rockaway Inlet at Atlantic Beach and 9 miles east of that, at Jones Inlet at Point Lookout. The mayor said he believes the gates would prevent Reynolds Channel from flooding and keep South Shore communities safe from storms like Sandy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying the project and Kennedy is trying to get local, state and federal officials to support it.

“Anything we do is not going to prevent the flooding other than the storm surge barrier gates,” he said.

— Stefanie Dazio

LindenhurstSeeking more flood protection

Damage sustained:

Lindenhurst sustained millions of dollars in damage from Sandy and applied for $5.2 million in assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, New York State and insurance. The village has so far received $4.4 million.

Costs for the storm response and cleanup in the weeks after totaled more than $2 million, including more than $1.5 million for debris removal and nearly $464,000 for overtime, according to Village Administrator Doug Madlon.

Among the hardest hit village assets were its bulkheading, which Madlon said cost almost $917,000 to repair. Its two other badly damaged properties were Shore Road Park and the Charles J. Cowan Marina.

What’s changed:

At the marina, the village captured and reset 48 mooring poles that were lifted or pulled out of the water by Sandy floodwaters.

The electrical system in the marina building has been repaired and elevated in a small electrical room that was created. The electrical system at the park was restored and panels placed two feet above the base flood elevation.

The baseball and soccer fields at the park also were restored.

What remains to be done:

The village has applied for $6.4 million in federal Community Development Block Grant money for a variety of flood protection projects including: $522,500 for a generator for the Rainbow Senior Center; natural resiliency improvements at Shore Road Park for $2.3 million; drainage improvements including $1.2 million for road raising; $801,197 for bulkhead repair and the installation of check valves; and $1.6 million for culvert and outfall reconstruction and leaching structures.

The village also is negotiating with the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery on a promise the village made to take title to 43 empty lots as part of NY Rising’s Enhanced Buyout program, which was designed to return flood-prone properties to a natural state for parks, buffer zones or other uses, with no development allowed.

— Denise M. Bonilla

BellportWaiting for FEMA

Damage sustained:

Bellport officials said the village had more than $4.3 million in damages from Sandy.

The docking area at Ho-Hum Beach was damaged and the beach pavilion destroyed. The boardwalk leading to the pavilion also was damaged. The docking area at Osborn Park was damaged along with all the electrical wiring at the park.

A shed at the village golf course needed to be repaired and the shoreline reconstructed, officials said.

What’s changed:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has reimbursed Bellport for more than $970,000 in repairs, including projects for electrical work, replacing a shed, and making shoreline and road repairs, village officials said.

Bellport Village Mayor Ray Fell said the storm caused a lot of damage but with the rebuilding effort, life in the village is returning to normal.

What remains to be done:

The village has asked FEMA for $2.5 million for bulkheading work at the main pier, which would include new asphalt and storm water drainage.

“We have to prove to FEMA that the damage came from superstorm Sandy and that’s the process we’re going through now,” Fell said, adding the project wouldn’t be done without the agency’s help.

The village is also awaiting FEMA reimbursement for $605,000 of repairs at Ho-Hum Beach and $206,811 for the new gazebo. Repairing damage to the underwater parts of the main pier remains to be undertaken, officials said.

— Deon J. Hampton

Fire Island'Things are so much better'

Damage sustained:

Sandy left Fire Island with extensive destruction of its dunes, flooding throughout communities, a new breach to the ocean and damage to Fire Island National Seashore facilities.

The storm also damaged private homes, and boardwalks and other facilities belonging to Brookhaven and Islip towns and villages on the island. Efforts to repair the damage have been undertaken by the towns and villages, local community and homeowners associations, Suffolk County, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

What’s changed:

Fire Island National Seashore officials have said a $207 million dune-replenishment project has been largely completed from Democrat Point, west of the Robert Moses Causeway bridge, to Seaview, near Ocean Beach.

The National Park Service also has spent nearly $1 million to remove debris and repair boardwalks, buildings, maintenance facilities, fuel tanks and signs damaged by Sandy.

The Federal Highway Administration provided $16.4 million for repairs and improvements, including: dock, boardwalk and road repairs at Fire Island Lighthouse; dredging to restore navigational channels, and marina repairs at Sailors Haven and Watch Hill.

Diane Romano, president of the Cherry Grove Community Association, said the summer community’s residents rebuilt dunes as well as their own homes, and the boardwalk was repaired by Brookhaven Town.

“A lot of great work has been done in Cherry Grove itself by the people who live there, and the Town of Brookhaven on the walks,” Romano said. “Things are so much better. … Our residents really did a great job repairing homes that needed to be repaired.”

What remains to be done:

An oft-delayed plan to replenish dunes on the eastern part of Fire Island is scheduled to begin next year.

To make room for additional dunes, wrecking crews in January 2018 are expected to begin tearing down about three dozen homes, including about two dozen dwellings in Ocean Bay Park and about 13 in Davis Park. About a dozen pools and decks in Fire Island Pines will be relocated. Dune reconstruction is to take place in those communities next year, and in Point O’ Woods, Cherry Grove and Water Island.

— Carl MacGowan

Montauk'There was no beach at all'

Damage sustained:

The storm cost East Hampton Town $633,478 in damages overall, budget officer Len Bernard said.

Montauk’s downtown was hit the hardest, leaving beachfront motels and businesses with exposed foundations, officials said.

Montauk resident Edith Wright, 52, was killed while walking her dog in the storm.

Dunes and bluffs near Culloden Point, Ditch Plains Beach and Montauk Point eroded. Streets and buildings flooded. Sand was wiped away, leaving at least one house precariously hanging over the beach near Soundview Drive.

“There was no beach at all,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, who owns the Montauk motel The Breakers.

What’s changed:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers buried thousands of geotextile sandbags at the downtown Montauk beach, built dunes and replanted dune grass in a controversial project costing more than $8 million.

Downtown business owners restored sand in front of their properties and rebuilt their buildings. Several of them did so without payments from insurers or government assistance.

The Montauk Fire Department drafted an emergency plan for any future storm isolating Montauk from the rest of the island, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said. The plan would “make Montauk as self-sufficient as possible for a time,” he said.

What remains to be done:

Officials are still waiting for a number of projects, the largest of which is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fire Island to Montauk Point Reformulation, an estimated $1.2 billion effort to fortify 83 miles of Long Island’s south shore. The specific measures for Montauk have not yet been determined, but are likely to include filling beaches with dredged sand and raising roads, Army Corps spokesman Jim D’Ambrosio said. The project will not break ground for a couple of years, he said.

“That’s really a key project that needs to be done as soon as possible,” Cantwell said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been approved to fortify a bulkhead area on the north side of Montauk near Culloden Point, Cantwell said. The project is expected to be completed in six to nine months.

— Rachelle Blidner

Racial Profiling

Newsday / News 12 Special Report

Minorities were more likely to land behind bars than whites for the same charge, data show – even when more whites were arrested.

you’re driving in your car on
Long Island and you’re pulled over by police.

Your race or ethnicity
might play a role in what happens next.

During the past decade,
nonwhites were nearly


more likely than whites
to be arrested after
“stop and frisk”-like
encounters with police.

They are almost


as likely to be sentenced to jail,
even under charges in which
whites were arrested more.

Across Long Island, these charges are predominantly the result of pull-over traffic stops, experts say.

Police say these arrests are based on legally permissible causes or “reasonable suspicion” discretion by officers, part of an overall crime-reduction strategy.

But data show that nonwhites
get arrested and go to jail more often than would be expected

based on Long Island’s population.



Long Island population, 2005-2016



Breakdown of arrests, 2005-2016



Newsday / News 12 examined
100,000 cases of “stop and frisk” arrests and 70,000

A pattern emerged.

Nonwhites make up a higher percentage overall of those arrested and those who go to jail.

Here’s how the charges break down:

The “stop and frisk” charge with the highest number of arrests – 53,000 in the last decade — breaks down differently.

Overall, whites are arrested more, but nonwhites went to jail more for criminal possession of a controlled substance.

were more likely to be arrested
on felony charges and sent to jail.

When it comes to the misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to one year in jail but more often by a fine or probation, whites make up the majority of arrests.

Yet, of 41,000 misdemeanor cases, a higher percentage of the nonwhite arrests ended in jail time compared with white arrests.
Here’s how

Controlled Substance: Arrests

Controlled Substance: Prosecuted

Controlled Substance: Jail Time

These 100 dots represent the 26,000 white arrests

88 out of 100 white cases go to court

26 out of 100 white cases end in jail.

These 100 dots represent the 15,000 nonwhite arrests

92 out of 100 nonwhite cases go to court

46 out of 100 nonwhite cases end in jail.

Controlled Substance: Arrests

These 100 dots represent the 26,000 white arrests

These 100 dots represent the 15,000 nonwhite arrests

The charge is punishable by up to 1 year in jail. But not everyone charged ends up there.

Controlled Substance: Prosecuted

88 out of 100 white cases go to court

92 out of 100 nonwhite cases go to court

The district attorney’s office decides which cases get prosecuted. Some get dropped.

Controlled Substance: Prosecuted

88 out of 100 white cases go to court

92 out of 100 nonwhite cases go to court

Of the cases that end in convictions, some get probation or a fine. Others go to jail.

Controlled Substance: Jail Time

26 out of 100 white cases end in jail.

46 out of 100 nonwhite cases end in jail.

Even when more whites got arrested, nonwhites went to jail more often.

Read the full story See our data


Newsday obtained 100,000 arrest cases and 70,000 sentencing records of 33 “stop and frisk” criminal charges from 2005 to 2016 through a request made to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Local police and court officials report to the state arrests and as well as outcomes – whether the individual was convicted or not and if convicted, what punishment they faced.

In case where an individual is arrested with multiple charges, the state records only the most serious charge he or she faced at the time of the arrest. If someone is charged with a felony and a misdemeanor, only the felony charge is counted towards the state record. If an individual is arrested with multiple kinds of misdemeanors, only the most serious misdemeanor is recorded.

The state records did not indicate whether an arrested individual had a prior conviction.

An individual can be arrested and the case adjudicated more than once in a given year. While the state could not provide Newsday with the breakdown of such instances for the 33 charges Newsday has looked at, it estimated that 10 percent of all criminal dispositions consisted of people with multiple dispositions in 2015 on Long Island.

In addition, the Nassau County Police department did not properly report Hispanic arrests to New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for six years, from 2007 to 2012.

Newsday compared the rate of arrests for whites and nonwhites by comparing the number of arrests for each racial group to the Census Bureau population. The state has five racial groups: White, Black, Hispanic, Asian/Indian, Other-Unknown Race. Newsday calculated the rate of sentencing by comparing the number of those who were sentenced jail or prison time to those who were arrested. Newsday also looked at the racial make-up of all 33 misdemeanor and felony arrests, and those who were sentenced for each arrest charge.

Production Credit: Erin Geismar, TC McCarthy, James Stewart, Will Welch. Copy editor: Nirmal Mitra

Top photo credit: iStock/m-imagephotography; stock photo posed by models

Teacher Makeover 2017

Calling all teachers Do you want a back-to-school makeover?

Yes, we know school just got out, but before long we’ll be thinking about going back. And back-to-school is NOT just about the kids. We’re looking for teachers who could use a makeover and are willing to take a day to get primped and model the season’s trends. What’s in it for you? A little fame (you’ll appear on our fashion pages) and some guidance on hair, makeup and how to dress better.

Nominate yourself or, if you know someone who fits the bill, tell us. Send us a couple of sentences on why you or your nominee needs a makeover, along with a recent photo.

Not loading? Enter here.

Read the contest rules.

Experience 10 of Long Island’s best restaurants

Experience 10 of Long Island’s
Best Restaurants

While enjoying a meal at your favorite restaurant, have you ever wondered what’s going on inside the kitchen? Get a behind-the-scenes look at some of LI’s top eateries with the videos below. Hit play and drag the video left, right, up or down for a 360 view without leaving your living room.

Arata Sushi

Recommended Dish: The “Invincible Sandwich” Roll

From the outside, it looks like a hundred other Long Island sushi restaurants. Read More Inside, it’s got neither glitz nor glam. All the fireworks at Arata Sushi in Syosset are behind the sushi bar, where chef-owner Jimmy Lian, alumnus of New York’s vaunted Nobu, prepares pristine, innovative sushi that never crosses the line into wackadoo over-orchestration. Try the omakase — the chef’s choice of what’s best from the market that day, which may include white tuna with salsa verde and fluke with onion salsa; ceviche-packed fish tacos; or the signature “invincible sandwich roll” with salmon, avocado, flyingfish roe and Lian’s own “special sauce.” They don’t encourage lingering at Arata — there are too many people waiting to get in. Read Less

Yelp Rating

BBD’s – Beers, Burgers, Desserts

Recommended Dish: Griddle burger

Ralph Perrazzo named his restaurant for his three great obsessions: beers, burgers and desserts. Read More On the beer front, he’s got a state-of-the-art tap system with 28 beers on tap, one cask brew and more than 90 beers by the bottle. Burgers are done three ways: “steakhouse style” — a full 12 ounces grilled over live coals; griddled — seared to crispness on a hot flat-top; and steamed, for those who always wondered what White Castle would be like if the beef were fantastic. Killer desserts include banana splits and overstuffed s’mores. Since he opened in 2013, the restless Perrazzo has also developed some new obsessions . . . er menu items: wings and ramen. But BBDWR’s seemed like too clunky a name. Read Less

Yelp Rating


Recommended Dish: Fried Ipswich clams

Along a distinctly nonmaritime stretch of Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre is one of Long Island’s most iconic seafood eateries: Read More Bigelow’s — essentially 30 stools and one long counter curving around a Fryolator station — which seems not to have changed since it opened in 1939: It’s a lean, mean, seafood-frying machine. All the fried seafood here is recommended — whiting, shrimp, calamari, smelts, oysters, scallops — but the undisputed stars of the show are the fried Ipswich clams, soft-shell and with the bellies still attached. The clams are tender, nutty, delicate, crisp — everything that makes fried soft-shell clams one of the world’s absolute best things to eat. Brothers Anthony and Christo Andreolas also do a fine job with Manhattan clam chowder. Read Less

Yelp Rating

Biscuits & Barbecue

Recommended Dish: Peach cobbler a la mode

Everyone who happens upon Biscuits & Barbeque wants to think it’s their own little secret: Read More a vintage railroad-car diner on a forlorn block at the edge of a Mineola’s industrial park that serves robust Louisiana cooking and smokehouse barbecue. But after five years, the secret is out. Cajun favorites include grapefruit-sized biscuits blanketed with creamy andouille sausage gravy; house-made potato chips topped with spicy chicken jambalaya; Louisiana gulf shrimp and grits; and all manner of po’ boys. From the smokehouse: ribs, pulled pork and chickens. Don’t leave without a slice of homemade pie. Read Less

Yelp Rating

Hendrick’s Tavern

Recommended Dish: Rack of lamb with a panko crust

With its timbered ceilings and rich leather accents, Hendrick’s Tavern looks like a country inn that’s been there forever; Read More in fact it dates only from 2012, when brothers George and Gillis Poll transformed the historic but rundown George Washington Manor into a favored watering hole among Roslyn’s smart set (with a parking lot to prove it — no Kia Sorrentos here). The venue sprawls with multiple dining rooms and bars, and more rooms and bars for catered events. The food shoots for classic, and scores. Among executive chef Mitch SuDock’s winners: Kobe beef hot dog wrapped in puff pastry (in other words, an $18 pig in a blanket), lobster-truffle mac-and-cheese, steaks, chops, and, yes, spaghetti and meatballs.Read Less

Yelp Rating


Recommended Dish: Grilled octopus

Drive by Kyma any night of the week and silhouetted through the tall windows you’ll see most of Roslyn enjoying themselves. Read More But not only is this Greek eatery the hottest spot in town, it’s also one of Long Island’s best fish restaurants. Displayed in the dining room on a bed of ice is a collection of whole fish that usually includes black sea bass, royal dorado, pompano, red snapper, pink snapper, branzino, octopus, calamari and langoustines. Of course there’s also salmon, tuna and swordfish, and a good selection of steaks and chops too. All of these get expertly grilled over live coals by executive chef Chris Kletsides. Managing partner Reno Christou said Kyma (“waves” in Greek) was inspired not just by the Greek islands, but by “good times on vacation at a little tavern at any seaside resort.” Read Less

Yelp Rating

Maple Tree BBQ

Recommended Dish: House-smoked pastrami

Heading east on Route 25, the scent of smoke signals you have reached Maple Tree BBQ. Read More Over the last eight years, the little free-standing building opposite the Peconic River has evolved from a deli with a smoker out back to a proper barbecue restaurant. Last year, Andrea Glick and Dennis O’Leary bought the place, spruced up the dining room and installed even more smokers out back. In addition to smoked ribs, brisket, pulled pork and chickens, Maple Tree also puts out pastrami and pulled chicken as well as smoked chili and smoked clam chowder, plus sandwiches and soft-corn tacos. You could do worse than to fill an insulated food carrier with barbecue and head a few miles farther east for a picnic lunch at your favorite North Fork winery. Read Less

Yelp Rating


Recommended Dish: Barbecued prawn eggroll

Other restaurants offer a chef’s tasting menu; at Mosaic in St. James, that’s all there is. Read More Other restaurants change their menus occasionally; Mosaic changes it nightly. The meal you are served depends entirely on the market, the season and the whims of chef-owners Jonathan Contes and Tate Morris, who often pick up their produce, fish and meat on the way to work. Count on five artfully wrought plates that usually include a salad, fish, pasta, red meat and dessert sampler. The restaurant is resolutely modest: 30 comfortable seats in a small, quiet dining room. All the flash comes from the tiny kitchen, where Contes and Morris work in near silence with only a dishwasher to help them. Read Less

Yelp Rating

Thomas’ Ham & Eggery

Recommended Dish: Pulled pork sandwich melt

When Tom Koukoulas took over Thomas’s Ham ’N’ Eggery in 1984, he was three owners removed from the original Thomas, who established the diner in 1946. Read More But 33 year later, he has earned the right to have his name immortalized on the vintage neon sign, a landmark on Old Country Road. Where most Long Island diners compete to have the biggest menus — everything from chef salads to shrimp scampi — Thomas’s focuses on breakfast (albeit breakfast served from 6 a.m. to the 9 p.m. closing). Oatmeal is slow-cooked in big vats; cakes, pies and muffins are made from scratch in a distinctly non-industrial-sized five-quart KitchenAid; and most of the egg dishes are served in individual, stainless-steel skillets, many of which were acquired by the original Thomas and kept in gleaming condition by the current Thomas’s diligent (and elbow-grease-endowed) kitchen crew. Read Less

Yelp Rating

Verde Wine Bar & Ristorante

Recommended Dish: Cod puttanesca

Papa Joe’s pizzeria occupied this workaday location for 20 years before Anthony Carcaterra, the owners’ son, transformed it into a New American restaurant and bistro in 2014. Read More The architectural bones of the pizzeria are still visible (and every entree still comes with a free salad — old habits die hard), but chef James Ahern’s menu is exceedingly modern. He’s got a thing for offal: starters include veal sweetbreads with speck and sage, and rabbit kidneys with ciabatta bread. Or hang out in the separate bar area and sip one of Verde’s imaginative cocktails such as the Penicillin, with Corsair Triple Smoke Bourbon, ginger, honey and lemon. Verde’s terrific wine list is all American, with one of Long Island’s best selections of Long Island wines. Read Less

Yelp Rating

Related Media

Credit: Interactive editor: Alison Bernicker | Design: Matthew Cassella | Development: James Stewart | Video shooters: Jeff Basinger, Raychel Brightman, Chuck Fadely, Megan Miller | Video editor: Matt Golub | Video producer: Jessica Kelley | Reported by: Erica Marcus

Contest Validator

Please enter your email address Validate

You are required to authenticate your email address. Any information you provide will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Long Island: Lifting the lid on secrecy

The curious case of Robert Macedonio

The story

Long Island attorney Robert Macedonio pleaded guilty to felony cocaine possession in 2008 and lost his law license. But three years later – under circumstances largely sealed from public view – the judge and district attorney let Macedonio reduce his conviction to a misdemeanor, paving the way for him to regain his law license.

How Newsday got it

Newsday reporters Gus Garcia-Roberts and Will Van Sant searched for records in the Macedonio case and found an obscure real estate transaction confirming the district attorney’s office had moved to seize his property after leveling the drug charge. It led to a Newsday legal challenge that opened up more of the case record. The reporters then built the story in part by developing sources within the district attorney’s office.

How hundreds of court cases are blocked from view

The story

Long Island judges have sealed more than 300 cases involving government agencies, hospitals and other entities key to the public’s welfare – often without justification.

How Newsday got it

Working as a reporter on Long Island, Will Van Sant was familiar with records that had been sealed from public view. Curious, he meticulously reviewed 10 years of records and discovered more than 300 cases over roughly a decade that were questionably sealed. In 35 cases, he discovered, even the sealing orders were sealed, making the propriety of these decisions impossible to analyze.

How LI judges win races before they start

The Story

One in four judicial candidates has been backed by both Republicans and Democrats in the past 10 years, all victors in races that were won before they started.

How Newsday got it

On a secret wiretap reported in a previous Newsday story, a lawyer discussed how one town Republican Party would trade the endorsement of a Democrat for four full-time and eight part-time highway department jobs. Through sources and other reporting, Newsday’s Sandra Peddie then uncovered other vivid instances that illustrated behind-the-scenes wrangling for political support.