Source: Nassau cop sex inquiry focuses on officer
Nassau police are investigating whether a former Seventh Precinct officer had sex while on duty with a woman in a van that she drove to his assignments, a law enforcement source said.
Police also are investigating the validity of allegations that other police officers had sex with a woman in a van during their shifts, law enforcement sources said.
It was unclear if these officers were paying for sex, one of the sources said.
The inquiry centers on Officer Mike Tedesco, a source said. Tedesco, an 18-year veteran of the force, is already being investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit for visiting a mistress' home while on duty, police have said.
Police have been told Tedesco had relations with a second woman who drove a van and met him at different locations while he was at work, a source said.
Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Dale is taking the lead role in the investigation, a source said.
Spokesman Deputy Insp. Kenneth Lack declined to comment on the matter Thursday.
James Carver, president of the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, which is representing Tedesco in the Internal Affairs investigation, said he is unaware of the allegations involving the van and could not comment.
Tedesco is accused of visiting Tara Obenauer's Massapequa home at least 57 times over a seven-month period ending in February, sources said.
Obenauer, 42, said in a news conference Wednesday that Tedesco, who is married with two children, visited her, usually in uniform, and that he was driving his patrol car during his shift.
Attorney Frank Perrone, of Garden City, who represents Obenauer, said at the news conference that she had been contacted by two other women who had also had relationships with Tedesco. However, Perrone said Thursday that he is unaware of whether either of those women drives a van.
Tedesco retired on April 6 without permission. A source said he will not receive a severance package, but he will receive his pension.
His attorney could not be reached for comment.
Investigations into Tedesco's conduct come two months after three police commanders were indicted in March and charged with conspiring to derail a police investigation into a May 2009 high school burglary committed by a teenager whose father was a financial benefactor of police.
William Flanagan, second deputy commissioner; John Hunter, deputy chief of patrol; and Alan Sharpe, former deputy commander of the Seventh Precinct Squad, face several charges in connection with an investigation into the theft of $11,000 in electronics equipment from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore by Zachary Parker of Merrick, now 20.
All three officers, who have retired, pleaded not guilty.
Parker's father, Gary Parker, served on the Nassau County Police Department Foundation board from March 2010 until he resigned in April 2011, according to the foundation's executive director.
In March, Zachary Parker pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and he is expected to be sentenced to 5 years' probation later this month.
Recent troubles for the Nassau County police
MARCH 2009. Jo'Anna Bird, of New Cassel, at right with her children Jo'Anna and Leonardo,is stabbed to death by her estranged boyfriend, Leonardo Valdez-Cruz, despite an order of protection against him. Ten Nassau police officers are disciplined after investigators find that the department failed to adequately investigate Bird's domestic violence calls.
2010. The police forensic evidence bureau becomes the only crime lab in the nation to be put on probation. Accreditors slam the lab over shoddy procedures. Numerous criminal prosecutions are jeopardized. The lab is later shuttered.
JANUARY 2010. After allegedly barhopping and drinking beer while on duty in January 2010, Det. Sgt. William E. Kaul, a Sixth Squad supervisor, is involved in an alleged hit-and-run in his unmarked police car. He later was arrested. The department permitted him to retire and he began collecting his pension. He is awaiting trial.
JUNE. Officer Richard Hefferon is arrested for allegedly pointing his loaded gun at a Farmingdale pub worker more than a month earlier. The case against Hefferon is pending.
NOVEMBER. Officer Garrett Mannerz of the Third Precinct pleads guilty to pulling a young driver over, taking her to his patrol car and forcing her to touch him sexually.
JANUARY 2012. A judge in January rebukes police for arresting Seemona Sumasar, a business owner and mother, on charges she pretended to be a cop to commit robberies. She was jailed for more than six months before being exonerated. A jury had convicted a man, Jerry Ramrattan, of orchestrating the frame-up to undermine her credibility in her rape accusation against him. He also was convicted of the rape.
MARCH. Indictments are unsealed against three former police commanders alleging conspiracy to scuttle a burglary probe of a teen whose dad was a financial benefactor of police.