Rick Brand Portrait of Newsday reporter Rick Brand taken on

Rick Brand is a longtime Newsday reporter who writes about politics and government on Long Island.

Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer said he met with the county legislature’s Democratic caucus Monday to reassure them the current strains in his relationship with County Executive Steve Bellone will not impact them in any way, and that he intends to tone down the rhetoric going forward.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

“I wanted to talk to them about some of the things going on in the press,” Schaffer said. “And I wanted to reassure them that I have my eye on the ball for next year, for their election, and I will continue to work toward that goal.”

Schaffer and Bellone traded barbs about the issue of public corruption following Bellone’s State of the County address in March and the conviction of former Suffolk Police Chief of Department James Burke. Burke pleaded guilty in February to violating the civil rights of a Smithtown man and then orchestrating a departmental cover-up of the crime.