The Nassau Police Internal Affairs Unit is investigating an officer whose former mistress now says he spent numerous hours at her home while he was supposed to be on patrol, police and the woman said Wednesday.
Nassau Police Spokesman Deputy Insp. Kenneth Lack said an internal affairs investigation is under way into Officer Mike Tedesco, an 18-year veteran of the force.
Lack would not reveal the details of the allegations against Tedesco, but one law enforcement source said Tedesco is accused of visiting the woman's home at least 57 times over a seven-month period ending in February, usually in uniform and in his patrol car during his shift.
John Byrne, a spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, said his office is monitoring the internal affairs investigation.
At a news conference Wednesday, the woman, Tara Obenauer, 42, of Massapequa, said Tedesco had first come to her home on a police call last summer. Days later, she saw him parked on her street. He gave her his number and told her to call if she ever needed anything, she said. She called.
Obenauer, who is divorced, said that over time she fell in love with Tedesco, who is married with two children. She said he told her he was leaving his wife, and imagined a future with her.
She said Tedesco spent about four hours at her home during each of his shifts, dropping her teenage daughter at friends' houses in his patrol car, watching television on her couch and taking naps in her bed.
She said he even attended dinner parties at her home in his uniform, with his patrol car outside.
"Every time he was on duty he was at my home," Obenauer said.
James Carver, president of the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, which is representing Tedesco in the Internal Affairs investigation, said it is too soon to comment.
"The investigation is still going on, and it's premature to comment on whether he's guilty or not at this point," Carver said.
Obenauer, who said she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer during her relationship with Tedesco, said she challenged him about his work ethic, but finally decided "I am not his mother."
"There was a sense of entitlement that came from him," she said. "He said he'd been doing this 17 years, and he'd earned the right to sit back a little bit."
Obenauer's lawyer, Frank Perron of Garden City, said he's outraged at the officer's conduct.
"While he was supposed to be keeping us safe, he was watching television in someone's house," he said.
Obenauer said she was shocked this February when officers from the police Internal Affairs bureau came to her home, but she told them the truth.
"I'm afraid of retaliation from him," she said.
Perrone said his client and her children were granted a temporary restraining order against Tedesco March 19.
Lack said Tedesco retired April 6, without permission from the police commissioner. A source said he will not receive a severance package, but he will receive his pension.