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Suffolk County Executive Levy Quits Race Following DA Probe

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Steve Levy (Photo/Douglas Healey/AP FILE PHOTO)

Steve Levy (Photo/Douglas Healey/AP FILE PHOTO)

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GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy says he will not seek a third term and voluntarily turned over about $4 million in campaign funds to the district attorney following a 16-month investigation.

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Levy, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2010, made the stunning announcement Thursday afternoon in a press release.

In the statement, Levy said he had “been blessed” by being able to work as a public servant for 25 years. He said his decision “was not made lightly,” adding that “long hours, tough decisions, grueling debates, family sacrifices” have made him “look to new challenges.”

District Attorney Thomas Spota said a 16-month investigation by the Government Corruption Bureau “revealed serious issues with regard to fundraising and the manner in which it was conducted, including the use of public resources.”

Spota added, however, that he was confident “Levy did not personally profit.” He said the forfeiture of the campaign fund “demonstrates his acceptance of responsibility for these failings.”

He said the campaign money would be returned to those who request it and any remaining funds would be donated to charity.

Spota said he seriously considered asking Levy to resign, but decided he should remain in office until his term expires Dec. 31.

The former Democrat joined the GOP to run for governor, and was viewed as a solid contender for a third term in November.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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