Two more members of the Suffolk County police criminal intelligence unit have resigned, marking four departures from that squad since September, state records show.
One of the officers, Det. Michael Malone, was directly involved in the 2012 arrest of Christopher Loeb. That arrest led to the federal indictment of former Chief of Department James Burke this month.
The other officer, Det. Lt. James Hickey, led the squad at the time.StoryBurke-appointed cops removed from task forceEditorialEditorial: Burke indictment tars Bellone’s leadership
Malone and Hickey turned in their applications for retirement from the force earlier this month. Their last day is scheduled for Saturday, according to the state comptroller’s office.
Malone is the third criminal intelligence officer directly involved in Loeb’s arrest to resign.
Loeb, of Smithtown, pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon for taking a duffel bag out of Burke’s unmarked department-issued vehicle. The bag contained ammunition among other items.
Fellow criminal intelligence officer Det. Anthony Leto testified in Suffolk County Court in October 2013 that Malone was inside an interrogation room with him and Det. Kenneth Bombace while they interviewed Loeb, now 29, at the Fourth Precinct.
Burke is now under federal indictment for the alleged assault of Loeb while he was handcuffed there. Burke is also charged with trying to cover it up during a federal grand jury investigation. He was arrested this month shortly after resigning and is awaiting trial. He has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have denied the charges.
Burke was ordered held without bail pending trial by a federal judge who agreed with prosecutors who said the ex-chief was a danger to the community because, in part, he pressured officers involved in the arrest to lie to federal authorities. His next court date is next week.
During Burke’s bail hearing, federal prosecutors argued in court they have more than 10 police witnesses now supporting Loeb’s account of being beaten by the former chief at the precinct.
Leto retired in November after nearly 20 years on the force.
Bombace retired in September.
Det. Thomas Cottingham, the lead detective handling the Loeb case, left the force in July 2013.
Hickey originally turned in his application on Nov. 24 to retire in December but withdrew it three days later. He reapplied for retirement two weeks ago. The state has Hickey credited for 30 years of service. Malone put in his papers days after Hickey. The state has Malone credited for 24 years of service.
Deputy Police Commissioner Tim Sini said Wednesday Det. Lt. William Burke, no relation to James Burke, was named the commanding officer of the 17-member unit on Dec. 15.