Spin Cycle

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Legis. William Lindsay III said despite District Attorney Thomas Spota’s refusal to appear before the legislature Thursday, he’s not yet ready to call on him to resign.

Instead, the Bohemia Democrat will give Spota until the next Public Safety Committee meeting, July 21, to publicly answer questions from lawmakers about federal investigations into his office.

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Lindsay had said previously he would call for Spota’s resignation if the district attorney did not appear Thursday. Lindsay said Wednesday he was persuaded to wait in part by Spota’s explanation of why the district attorney’s office did not prosecute suspected gang members arrested by Suffolk police.

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“If he’s still under investigation by the federal government then, it’s obvious it’ll be a lengthy investigation which will ultimately be not only a distraction into his office, but also call into question every criminal case they have to try during that time,” Lindsay said.

Public Safety Committee Chair Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) had requested on Lindsay’s behalf Spota appear at Thursday’s meeting to answer questions from lawmakers. Spota on Monday sent a letter back, declining because of the ongoing U.S. Attorney’s investigation.

Newsday reported Saturday that federal investigators are probing whether Spota and one of his chief assistants took part in a cover-up of an assault by former Suffolk Police Chief of Department James Burke of a burglary suspect, according to sources.

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County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a Conservative, five of six Republican lawmakers and Browning, a member of the Working Families Party who caucuses with Democrats, have called for Spota to resign.

So far none of the 11 Democratic county legislators have called for Spota to resign.