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Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota

Thomas Spota

Convicted of:Conspiracy, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and acting as accessories to the deprivation of the civil rights of Christopher Loeb, a suspect in the break-in of Suffolk Police Chief James Burke’s department SUV.

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 said 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. Spota and McPartland’s trial began on Nov. 12, 2019. Spota and McPartland were convicted on all counts on Dec. 17, 2019. Spota faces up to 20 years in prison. A sentencing is set for April 30.

The latest on the Spota case

March 9, 2020: Suffolk sues Spota, McPartland and Burke for back pay and benefits Feb. 28, 2020: Papers: Spota, McPartland want convictions thrown out; seek new trial Feb. 12, 2020: Sentencing delayed for former Suffolk DA Jan. 10, 2020: Bellone: Spota conviction closed ‘dark chapter’ in Suffolk history Jan. 7, 2020: Sentencing set for April for Spota, McPartland Dec. 17, 2019: Jury finds Thomas Spota, Christopher McPartland guilty Dec. 16, 2019: Spota-McPartland jury sends 3 notes to judge as deliberations start Dec. 16, 2019: Power on Trial: Judge mentions Burke 45 times in jury instructions Dec. 12, 2019: Power on Trial: Don’t judge Spota for Burke association, lawyer says Dec. 12, 2019: Defense: No credible evidence ex-DA Spota was corrupt Dec. 12, 2019: Power on Trial: Defendants formed a cabal, prosecutor says Dec. 12, 2019: Defense: Spota had track record of doing ‘right thing’ in Burke case Dec. 11, 2019: Power on Trial: Defendants formed a cabal, prosecutor says Dec. 11, 2019: Lawyers sum up in Spota, McPartland obstruction trial Dec. 10, 2019: Power on Trial: James Burke’s lawyer takes the stand Dec. 10, 2019: Ex-chief’s lawyer at trial: Burke wanted it known he didn’t cooperate Dec. 9, 2019: Power on Trial: Burke brother says guilty plea was ‘tough pill’ Dec. 9, 2019: Witness: McPartland took jailed ex-PD chief’s money without questions Dec. 5, 2019: Power on Trial: Ex-Spota deputy says Burke trash-talked DA’s office Dec. 5, 2019: Ex-DA’s deputy: Spota had a ‘queasy’ feeling about chief’s comment Dec. 4, 2019: Power on Trial: Burke cried at Spota’s home, witness says Dec. 4, 2019: Former top prosecutor says ex-DA was angry at handling of beating case Dec. 3, 2019: Power on Trial: McPartland, Spota lawyers quiz ex-cop Dec. 3, 2019: Defense for ex-DA Spota attacks star government witness Dec. 2, 2019: Power on Trial: Ex-cop feared for safety in Burke meeting Dec. 2, 2019: Ex-cop testifies he feared for life as beating cover-up unraveled Nov. 26, 2019: Power on Trial: Ex-cop links McPartland, Spota to cover-up Nov. 26, 2019: Witness: Spota demanded to know who ‘flipped’ on Burke cover-up Nov. 25, 2019: Power on Trial: Stress over Loeb probe put cop in hospital Nov. 25, 2019: Doctor: Key witness in Spota case hallucinated after stress, no sleep Nov. 21, 2019: Power on Trial: A brutal beating described Nov. 21, 2019: Witness: Burke’s fury sparked by prisoner’s ‘pervert’ insult Nov. 20, 2019: Power on Trial: Cops describe department in turmoil Nov. 20, 2019: Ex-detective testifies he put family in hotel due to concerns about Burke case Nov. 19, 2019: Power on Trial: Current and former cops take the stand Nov. 19, 2019: Detective: Burke’s bag contained sex toys, condoms, union cards Nov. 18, 2019: Power on Trial: Suffolk Dems leader takes the stand Nov. 18, 2019: Schaffer: Spota boosted Burke’s bid for chief job Nov. 14, 2019: Power on Trial: Spota, McPartland trial gets underway Nov. 14, 2019: Feds: Spota, McPartland thought they were above the law Nov. 13, 2019: Jury selected in case against former Suffolk DA and aide Nov. 12, 2019: Key figure appears at final jury selection round in Spota-McPartland trial Nov. 9, 2019: Former DA Spota’s obstruction trial to start Tuesday Nov. 5, 2019: Jury selection moves forward in case against Spota, McPartland Oct. 30, 2019: Hundreds of potential jurors screened for Spota/McPartland trial Oct. 2, 2019: Judge denies defense request for Spota, McPartland trial delay Sept. 11, 2019: Lawyers: Ex-Suffolk DA, aide committed no crime June 27, 2019: Judge sets trial schedule for ex-DA Spota, aide April 1, 2019: Judge delays the Spota-McPartland trial to November March 21, 2019: Unsealed court letter reveals details of investigation into Spota March 11, 2019: Bellone signs bill to recoup Burke pay; targets Spota Dec. 26, 2018: Papers detail alleged efforts to thwart Burke probe Dec. 6, 2018: Prosecutors: Spota, top aide plotted to obstruct justice Oct. 25, 2018: Judge delays obstruction trial of Spota, aide to May July 20, 2018: Feds close to turning over evidence in Spota case July 18, 2018: Editorial: Corruption trials demand reforms July 11, 2018: Ex-Spota aide McPartland gets legal defense fund July 2, 2018: Brown: Stay tuned. More corruption trials are to come April 12, 2018: Power on Trial: Judge in Mangano trial also presiding over Spota case April 12, 2018: Federal judge sets Spota trial date Jan. 26, 2018: Spota, former aide make brief court appearance in cover-up case 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 Jan. 11, 2018: Spota paid $154,000 to defense from campaign fund Jan. 7, 2018: Former Thomas Spota aide hired by Suffolk Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. Jan. 2, 2018: Editorial: Tough but clear path for Sini Dec. 23, 2017: Arc of Thomas Spota’s career marked by close relationship with police Dec. 1, 2017: Thomas Spota’s aide wants government to pay for current attorney Nov. 21, 2017: Records: Suffolk DA’s office bonuses totaled $3.25M since 2012 Nov. 15, 2017: Brown: Restore trust in Suffolk DA’s office — now, not later Nov. 13, 2017: Cuomo aide: No plans to appoint an interim DA in Suffolk Nov. 10, 2017: Tim Sini wants to discuss early appointment as Suffolk DA Nov. 8, 2017: Thomas Spota’s last day will be Friday, says DA’s office Nov. 8, 2017: Original charges against James Burke’s accuser dropped Nov. 8, 2017: Sini defeats Perini in Suffolk district attorney contest Nov. 3, 2017: Editorial: One way to fight election collusion on Long Island Oct. 28, 2017: Brown: Spota couldn’t continue as Suffolk DA Oct. 27, 2017: Rich Schaffer, Steve Bellone differ over Spota resignation Oct. 26, 2017: DA Thomas Spota ‘leaving my post’ after federal indictment Oct. 26, 2017: Burke, former chief at heart of Spota case, receives $145G pension Oct. 26, 2017: Spota’s decades-long relationship with Burke leads to indictment Oct. 25, 2017: Democratic lawmakers urge Thomas Spota to resign Oct. 25, 2017: Suffolk DA Thomas Spota, top aide indicted in cover-up Oct. 25, 2017: Spota, McPartland draw mix of onlookers to courtroom Oct. 25, 2017: District Attorney Thomas Spota’s contempt for the law Oct. 13, 2017: Suffolk DA Thomas Spota awards $2.7 million in staff bonuses, records show June 14, 2017: Brown: LI’s top cops: Looking ahead to possible changes May 12, 2017: Brown: Longtime Suffolk DA Thomas Spota will leave under a cloud May 12, 2017: Suffolk District Attorney Spota says he won’t seek re-election May 12, 2017: After 40 years in law enforcement, Spota calls it a career May 12, 2017: Timeline of Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota’s career April 26, 2017: Attorneys: Christopher Loeb indictment should be thrown out Dec. 21, 2016: ‘Numerous’ cops pleaded guilty in James Burke cover-up, court papers say March 12, 2016: Brown: Edward Walsh trial may spotlight DA Thomas Spota
Other LI officials charged with abuse of power