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Thomas Spota asked to testify at Suffolk Legislature

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota at his

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota at his Hauppauge office on Tuesday Sept. 3, 2013 Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Suffolk lawmakers have asked District Attorney Thomas Spota to appear before the legislature next week to answer questions about allegations of wrongdoing in his office.

Public Safety Committee Chairwoman Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) wrote Monday that Legis. William Lindsay III (D-Bohemia) wants Spota to address the next committee meeting on June 16.

“The accusations and allegations pertaining to the District Attorney’s office have gone on for too long,” Browning wrote, citing news media reports. She said Lindsay, “believes, as do many other legislators, that the issues need to be addressed within the public domain in order to provide full transparency for the betterment of the County.”

Robert Clifford, spokesman for the District Attorney’s office, did not respond to a request for comment.

Lindsay said in an interview that Spota assured him in a private phone call he did nothing wrong, but Lindsay wants him to answer questions in public.

“There have been a lot of serious allegations in the paper,” he said. “The integrity of the office is in question, as well as the entire county government, and I believe in order to be transparent he should have the opportunity to respond in a public forum.”

If Spota doesn’t show, Lindsay said, “at that point I’d have no choice but to join the calls of those asking for his resignation.”

Browning, who caucuses with the Democrats, said she supports the request. Lindsay made the request through Browning because she chairs the committee.

Browning has called on Spota to resign, citing disclosures in Newsday that Spota’s office failed to prosecute possible criminal activity uncovered in wiretaps, including drug trafficking that led to the sale of cocaine to local teenagers.

Browning also said Spota should address a May 30 Newsday story in which police and prosecutors blamed each other for releasing six suspected gang members arrested on felony charges.

Browning’s letter also cites allegations directed at top corruption prosecutor Christopher McPartland. Newsday has reported he is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation.

Bellone and Republican lawmakers have also called for Spota, a Democrat, to resign. Spota has said he has done nothing wrong and accused Bellone of trying to squash investigations into his friends.

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