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Plea deal offered in Islip Town fire marshal bribery case

Prosecutors offered a plea deal on May 18,

Prosecutors offered a plea deal on May 18, 2017, in the bribery case against Michael Allen, an Islip Town fire marshal. An indictment in September 2016 had charged Allen with bribe receiving, official misconduct and coercion and Allen had pleaded not guilty at the time. Credit: SCPD

Prosecutors offered a plea deal Thursday morning in the case against Michael Allen, an Islip Town fire marshal who was charged in a 16-count indictment last year alleging his involvement in a scheme to steer Civil Service positions to favored candidates.

State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho said that “having presided over the trial” against former Islip Town Public Safety Commissioner John J. Carney last month and “knowing the evidence” that prosecutors have, he considers the plea offer “to be a reasonable one, for what it’s worth.”

Camacho did not disclose the terms of the offer. He told Allen’s attorney, Stephen McCarthy of Manhattan, to discuss the offer with his client and his client’s family, and to return to court on June 6.

“The case is in negotiation. Mr. Allen is being fairly treated by the court and the DA’s office,” Allen’s attorney, Stephen McCarthy of Manhattan, said outside court. He declined to say what terms were included in the plea offer.

Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, did not respond to an emailed list of questions.

Allen, who was an Islip assistant chief fire marshal at the time the crimes allegedly were committed, was indicted Sept. 13, as was Carney, for what prosecutors have called a scheme to coerce four Civil Service candidates into declining job offers for Islip Town fire marshal jobs so that provisional employees — some who scored lower on the list — could be hired.

After his indictment Allen was demoted to his previous title of fire marshal II and placed on administrative duty.

The indictment charged both Allen and Carney with four class D felonies of third-degree bribe receiving, and 12 Class A misdemeanors — four counts of official misconduct and eight counts of second-degree coercion. The felony charges each carry a maximum prison sentence of 2 1⁄3 to 7 years, prosecutors have said.

Allen and Carney both pleaded not guilty at the time they were arraigned on the indictment and both had been released on their own recognizance.

Plea offers were initially extended by prosecutors to both Carney and Allen during a conference on Nov. 30. Carney did not accept that plea offer, which his lawyer, James Pascarella of Mineola had said included misdemeanor convictions and no jail time but mandated community service. Carney’s case went to trial in April.

On April 26, after three days of testimony and nearly four full days of deliberations, a jury in Camacho’s courtroom in Central Islip convicted Carney of three misdemeanor coercion charges.

Jurors acquitted him on the top four felony bribe-receiving charges as well as nine misdemeanor charges, including four official misconduct and five other coercion counts.

A week before he was indicted, Carney, citing health reasons, resigned from his commissioner position. Sentencing for Carney is set for July 6.

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