CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Former Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota is due in court, this time as the defendant.
Spota is accused of obstructing a federal investigation into the beating of a handcuffed prisoner by former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke in 2012.
Spota and the chief of his anti-corruption bureau, Christopher McPartland, were indicted by a grand jury on Oct. 25. Charges against the two include witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Both pleaded not guilty.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors are expected to meet with a federal judge on Friday for a status conference on Spota’s case.
During the court hearing, the government plans on turning over evidence to Spota’s defense attorneys.
Spota has not commented about the accusations against him. The 76-year-old was the district attorney for 16 years and stepped down in November.
Burke is currently serving a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to assaulting a handcuffed man who had broken into his sport-utility vehicle and taken his gun belt, ammunition, a box of cigars and a bag containing sex toys and pornography.
Prosecutors said Burke then lied and asked others to lie on his behalf to cover up the beating.