Sentencing for former Suffolk police chief of department James Burke — scheduled for Thursday — has been delayed at the request of defense attorneys and federal prosecutors, according to court records.
Burke, who pleaded guilty in February to charges of violating the rights of a Smithtown man and then masterminding a cover up of the crime, faces up to 51 months in prison when he is sentenced.
Attorneys requested the delay from U.S. District Judge Leonard Wexler because of unspecified objections to the pre-sentence report filed by the federal probation department, the court records said.
Probation officers traditionally give a report to the sentencing judge with recommendations for sentencing.
A request for the delay filed by one of Burke’s attorneys, Joseph Conway, of Mineola, said “the parties have submitted objections to the pre-sentencing report, and are currently awaiting for the Probation Department to file an addendum.”
Probation Department recommendations are usually sealed and it is not unusual for a federal sentencing to be delayed for a variety of reasons.
In granting the postponement, Wexler has not yet set a new date for sentencing, the court records said.
The charges against Burke grew out of an incident in which Burke acknowledged assaulting a Smithtown man, Christopher Loeb, who had broken into the then-chief’s department SUV and stole a duffle bag.
Burke resigned as chief more than a month before his arrest in December on the charges.
He has remained in a federal detention center since his arrest because Wexler considers him a danger to the community.