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Suffolk County Ethics Report Critical Of Unnamed Officials

Suffolk County Seal

Suffolk County Seal

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A special grand jury report finds that unidentified Suffolk County officials used an ethics commission as a “political sword” to attack enemies.

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reports

The 56 page report does not name names, but says the commission also was used as a “political shield” to authorize questionable conduct.

The report goes on to accuse county officials of acting as puppeteers for ethics commissioners, even giving them statements to read in public.

EXTRA: Click Here To Read The Full Report (pdf)

“The Special Grand Jury finds that county officials, including some of those holding positions on the Ethics Commission, destroyed the integrity of Suffolk County’s Ethics Commission,” the report states. “In less than ten years, a small but powerful group of Suffolk County officials intentionally corrupted and undermined the Ethics Commission to a point so low, it had to be disbanded.”

Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said the report exposes behavior by public officials acting in the name of the Ethics Commission that was “unprincipled and wrong, but not criminal.”

He urges new laws that would make public officials in the future subject to prosecution.

The report recommends the legislature act to make certain future public officials can be prosecuted for behavior uncovered in this report, adding: “In order for future ethics decisions in Suffolk County to have any meaning, ethics officials must be trained properly.”

State law bars the grand jury from naming the public officials cited in the report.

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