A federal judge has postponed a hearing scheduled for Monday on whether he should consider fresh accusations in imposing as much as 16 more months in prison on convicted former Suffolk County Conservative Party leader Edward Walsh.
Walsh, who also was a lieutenant in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, was convicted in March 2016 of wire fraud and theft of government services for pocketing more than $200,000 in department salary and overtime while he was actually working on political activities, golfing or gambling.
He faced 24 to 30 months in prison under the suggested federal sentencing guidelines, which judges do not have to follow, but usually do.
Walsh’s defense attorneys have argued in court papers that federal prosecutors now unfairly want U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt to boost the potential sentence to 37 to 46 months — by taking into account new assertions.
Those assertions, made in pre-sentencing prosecution papers cited in a defense memo, said the amount of money the former party leader illegally took was more than $400,000, and that he obstructed justice by attempting to get three potential witnesses to falsely testify in favor of his defense.
The defense has denied those allegations.
Judges are allowed to take such related conduct into account in sentencing, if true, while defendants are permitted to rebut such claims at what is known as a Fatico hearing.
The hearing in the case was supposed to be held Monday at federal court in Central Islip, but Walsh’s attorneys, Leonard Lato, of Hauppauge, and William Wexler, of North Babylon, had asked for a delay, saying they recently received some 3,000 pages of material on the matter from federal prosecutors and that they have not had adequate time to review the documents.
After a brief hearing, Spatt granted the delay and set a hearing date on the issues for June 1.
The defense attorneys as well as Eastern District prosecutors Catherine Mirabile and Raymond Tierney all declined to comment.