Suffolk County executive demands DA's resignation
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The Suffolk County executive is doubling down on his calls for the district attorney to resign. But the DA said the accusations are nothing more than a personal vendetta.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone didn't letting up. He is still demanding that District Attorney Tom Spota step down.
"What the district attorney is trying to get people to believe is that everyone else is lying but him," Bellone said.
In a one-on-one interview, Bellone told me his decision to call on Spota's resignation, the same day as former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos's sentencing, highlights corruption in the county. But in a stunning war of words, Spota on Thursday said he did nothing wrong.
"His call for resignation is not based on anything but a personal vendetta against me for investigating and prosecuting people that he is close to," Spota said.
Bellone denied any favors. He said the DA has been using his office to protect friends like former Police Chief James Burke and punish enemies.
Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco said Spota also refused to assist and then interfered with an investigation involving one of his former employees, Edward Walsh.
"After I made him aware that the investigation was ongoing he made 16 phone calls to the defendant and in my estimation interfered with the investigation," DeMarco said.
In both cases, Burke and Walsh were tried and convicted by federal prosecutors.
The mystery surrounding the Gilgo Beach murders is also resurfacing. Bellone said Spota was the one who blocked the FBI from investigating.
So why would Spota want the FBI out of the investigation?
"I think it's pretty clear. If you're conducting this kind of activity that they have been engaged in, having federal law enforcement working with you is not helpful," Bellone said.
Political strategist Michael Balboni weighed in. He called the back and forth unprecedented.
"When you have the county executive come out and say the things that he did, and then you have the district attorney respond and then the county executive come back -- that is a political hairball," Balboni said. "How do you untangle that?
"What he'd like to do is try to make it personal, that is what he always does. He did the same thing with Sheriff De Marco," Bellone said. "But no one is buying it anymore."
Bellone has spoked to the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. We're told the governor is aware of what is happening but is not commenting on the situation.