With the arrest of James Burke, the former chief of the Suffolk County Police Department, and the decision by a federal judge to deny bail because Burke might pose a risk to the community, it’s time to hold County Executive Steve Bellone accountable for Burke’s promotion to chief [“Pols seek cop monitor,” News, Dec. 16]. Information about Burke’s checkered history was probably known to Bellone, and Newsday subsequently reported on it [“1995 Internal Affairs report,” News, Oct. 20, 2013].
Bellone promoted Burke in 2012, despite his prior, inappropriate relationship with a convicted prostitute. The promotion makes no sense to me.
I call on to Bellone to do the right thing and resign to allow Suffolk County to undergo some healing and rehabilitation from this horrendous series of events that damages the county and its police department.
Jerry Bilinski, Riverhead
Editor’s note: The writer is a retired case manager based at the Suffolk County jail’s mental health unit.