Under indictment, Suffolk DA Thomas Spota to retire

- One day after being indicted by the feds, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced his retirement.

Spota and Christopher McPartland, the chief of the anti-corruption bureau, are accused of crossing the line in a case of police brutality that led to the conviction of the county's then-police chief. 

Spota and McPartland pleaded not guilty and walked out of federal court on $500,000 bond Wednesday.

"I will be leaving my post as District Attorney at the earliest opportunity after the resolution of normal administrative matters relating to my retirement," Spota said in a statement.

But County Executive Steve Bellone, standing outside the DA's office on Thursday, called this time frame unacceptable.

"Leaving office at some point in the future is not what this moment calls for," Bellone said.

A federal grand jury indicted the longtime district attorney and his aide on obstruction of justice charges stemming from a case involving former Chief James Burke. 

Burke was convicted for covering up the beating of a handcuffed man who stole sex paraphernalia from his police-issued SUV in 2012. Burke is serving a 46-month prison sentence.

Federal officials said Spota took part in the cover-up. 

Spota and Burke have known each other since the latter was a teenager and a witness in a prominent murder case. Spota supported his law-enforcement career and backed him for police chief in 2011.

"Every day and every moment that he remains in the office and, quite frankly, that Chris McPartland remains in this office, they are undermining the work that is needed on a daily basis to keep the county safe and deliver justice," Bellone said.

Legislator Rob Trotta called the county a "culture of corruption." He blamed Bellone for "this mess" because he was the one who promoted Burke in the first place. 

"If someone should be resigning, it should be Steve Bellone because Steve Bellone is the person that put Jimmy Burke in charge and caused this whole problem," Trotta said.

How long Spota's retirement paperwork will take is unclear. He has informed Gov. Andrew Cuomo already. Once he resigns, the chief deputy would take office for the remainder of the term before the newly elected district attorney is sworn in.

With Fox5NY.com staff and the AP

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