Suffolk County PBA president Noel DiGerolamo speaks at a news...

Suffolk County PBA president Noel DiGerolamo speaks at a news conference outside of police headquarters in Yaphank in 2014. Credit: Ed Betz

Suffolk PBA President Noel DiGerolamo, once thrown out of the Conservative Party along with 1,400 of his union members after a court battle, last month headlined a fundraiser for the minor party’s East End political action committee.

DiGerolamo was the honoree of the BrookHampton Conservative Committee at an event that drew about 150 people despite a snowstorm, and raised about $24,000 according to party officials.

“I was honored to be asked and I’m proud to be part of the party regardless of what happened years ago,” said DiGerolamo, who rejoined the Conservative Party later. “I’m glad to see my party affiliation is not called into question by the current leadership.”

The PBA leader and Conservatives went to war in 2009 when the union tried to enlist their members to join the party in an unsuccessful attempt to deny renomination to then-Conservative Sheriff Vincent DeMarco. Four political parties had endorsed him.

The Police Benevolent Association opposed DeMarco's decision to assign deputy sheriffs to replace county police patrolling the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway.

But DeMarco did not seek re-election in 2017 after he served as a key witness against ex-Suffolk Conservative chairman Edward Walsh. Walsh, a former county corrections lieutenant, was convicted in federal court for pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in pay from the sheriff’s department while golfing, gambling and politicking on county time.

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