Newly elected Suffolk County Court Judge Anthony Senft Jr. last week thanked former Conservative Party chairman Edward Walsh, who was convicted of wire fraud and theft of government funds by a federal jury, as he was sworn into his new position.
Senft, a Conservative Party member and former Islip councilman, was the only judge at the Suffolk County Bar Association’s robing ceremony at Touro Law Center in Central Islip to thank Walsh, who in March was convicted of gambling, golfing and conducting political activity while getting paid as a Suffolk County sheriff’s lieutenant. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 3.
At last year’s swearing in, all 10 judges thanked Walsh.
Senft did not return calls for comment. Walsh’s attorney, William Wexler, declined to comment.
Senft also thanked current political leaders and Conservative Party executive committee member Michael E. Torres, who was arrested in November 2014 on a felony charge of falsifying a Town of Islip job employment application. Torres has pleaded not guilty and his case is pending, according to court records.
Senft ran unopposed in November for the 10-year term under a cross-endorsement deal between political party leaders. Senft was an Islip Town councilman tapped to run for State Senate when his campaign was derailed by revelations of widespread dumping at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood. Instead, he ran successfully for District Court in 2015.
During Walsh’s trial, Senft testified for the prosecution about meeting with Walsh at Conservative Party fundraisers and golf outings at which he did not recall discussing any sheriff related business.
— David M. Schwartz and Andrew Smith