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Suffolk Conservative Party chairman and Sheriff’s Lt. Edward Walsh returned to his county job Tuesday for the first time since June, according to Walsh’s attorney William Wexler and Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco.
Walsh, who is facing federal criminal charges for charging the county for hours he didn't work, is assigned to the quartermaster’s office in Yaphank and reporting to a captain on site, DeMarco said. Walsh will be passing out equipment to correction officers and sheriff’s deputies.
The quartermaster’s office is in a separate building from the main jail facility, where Walsh used to work as a liaison to the courts and other offices. He was suspended in June and had been using time off.
Wexler said Walsh was, “happy to be going back to work.”
DeMarco has moved to fire Walsh. A county termination hearing scheduled for February was postponed at the request of the U.S. attorney's office.
Walsh, 49, of East Islip, was indicted in March on charges of theft of government funds and wire fraud. Federal prosecutors charge that Walsh collected more than $80,000 by falsely claiming he was doing his job as a lieutenant at the Suffolk County Jail, while he was actually golfing, gambling or engaged in political activities.
Walsh has maintained his innocence and rejected a plea bargain offered by federal prosecutors, Newsday has reported.
Walsh was first hired in December 1990. He would be able to retire with a fully vested pension after 25 years on the job, unless he retires or is terminated before then. He was suspended for 30 days in June and again when he was arrested in January. His attorneys are appealing the second suspension.