Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Monday endorsed his police commissioner, Timothy Sini, for Suffolk district attorney.
“In my mind, there is no candidate better equipped to go in and do what is necessary to end the culture of corruption and replace it with the highest ethical standards,” Bellone said in an interview.
Sini earlier this month got the backing of Suffolk Democrats and Conservatives in the race to succeed nearly 16-year Democratic incumbent Thomas Spota.
Sini, a former federal prosecutor, worked as a Bellone law enforcement aide and ran a losing race for Suffolk County Legislature. Bellone appointed Sini police commissioner after the corruption scandal in which former Chief of Department James Burke pleaded guilty to federal charges of beating a suspect and trying to cover it up.
Republicans have named Republican defense attorney Ray Perini as their candidate. Perini once headed the DA’s narcotics bureau.
Perini called Sini “inexperienced and unqualified” for the job of Suffolk DA.
“He’s never tried a criminal case in state court and now he want to run a prosecutor’s office with 180 attorneys,” Perini said.
Another former prosecutor, William Ferris, of Southold, said he will challenge Perini in a Sept. 12 GOP primary.
Ferris also has called on Sini to immediately step down as police commissioner to run as a political candidate.
“I’m still the best candidate to lead this district attorney office based on my experience, integrity as well as my military experience in the Navy” during the Vietnam War, Ferris said in response to Bellone’s endorsement of Sini.
Bellone said he has had no discussions about helping Sini’s campaign financially, but said he would “be supportive in any way I can.”