Commissioner Patrick Ryder acknowledged Wednesday the Nassau County Police Department should have alerted the public after it learned last month that an officer faced accusations of exposing himself to women at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.
The department confirmed the Oct. 3 arrest of Richard Furboter, a 24-year veteran of the department, when Newsday inquired Tuesday.
Furboter, 55, of Elmore Avenue in East Meadow, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of public lewdness and two counts of exposure of a person, a violation, in connection with two incidents in which he allegedly exposed himself to women working at the park on June 25 and Sept. 12, according to court records.
Ryder said department officials immediately began an internal affairs investigation after learning of the allegations in September and were focused on making the case against Furboter, who was suspended without pay after his arrest and retired three days later. Additionally, Ryder said, a majority of department resources had been diverted to a rape in Freeport that occurred during the investigation into Furboter.
“We want to make sure we’re doing it right; that we get the cop right,” Ryder said. “And in this case, we believe we have. . . . Not to make an excuse, the release should have went out. It didn’t go out. That’s what it is.”
Ryder, speaking at an afternoon news briefing at police headquarters in Mineola, hours after Furboter was released on his own recognizance at his arraignment, said the former officer faces departmental charges and could lose an estimated $150,000 in severance pay if convicted on those.
“I’m disgusted by it,” Ryder said. “I’m not only disgusted by it — the entire department’s disgusted by it.”
A visibly angry Ryder added: “I can’t answer why he did what he did. I can only tell you this: It’s disgusting. . . . His shield is taken from him. That shield will never be worn by another police officer in this county. It will be melted down and thrown into the garbage.”
Furboter and his Mineola-based attorney, Raymond Voulo, declined to comment Wednesday following the arraignment.
Nassau District Court Judge Elizabeth Fox-McDonough issued orders requiring Furboter to stay away from the two alleged victims in the case and ordered him to surrender any firearms he owns to the police department.
Nassau police spokesman Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun said Wednesday Furboter’s firearms were surrendered on the day of his arrest.