Suffolk Republicans on Monday night named former narcotics prosecutor Ray Perini as their candidate for district attorney and state Sen. Phil Boyle for county sheriff.
Boyle and Perini were named by a voice vote of about 160 committee members at the GOP county convention held at the Portuguese American Center in Farmingville.
Republicans also named 17 of 18 candidates for county legislature contests but put forward no immediate nominees for a county court and family court judgeship. The party authorized Suffolk GOP chairman John Jay LaValle to fill those nominations later.
For Perini, 69, the GOP designation is a major comeback four years after he bucked the party and ran a losing Republican primary against Democratic District Attorney Thomas Spota. At the time, Perini said he was running against a system of party cross endorsements that left voters without a choice.
“It feels very good to be the first Republican candidate for district attorney since 2001,” said Perini, whose 43-year legal career included 16 years as a prosecutor in Brooklyn and Suffolk.
He also accused Democratic district attorney candidate Timothy Sini of lying to county lawmakers at his police commissioner confirmation hearing when he told them he would not run to be Suffolk’s top prosecutor.
“To start this race with a lie is not a good thing,” Perini said.
He also said the Suffolk Conservative Party abandoned its principles by endorsing Sini. Perini said Sini also received the endorsement of the “liberal Working Families Party.”
“He wants to be a politician, not a dedicated law enforcement official,” Perini said. Perini also worried Sini’s political ambition may affect “how he makes decisions” as police commissioner in the coming months.
Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer said Perini had little room to question others actions since he was criticized in a 1989 State Investigation Commission report for engaging in illegal wire taps as a prosecutor.
“He is the last one who should question anyone’s integrity,” Schaffer said.
Perini has said the commission’s findings were based on accusations by two corrupt cops and an earlier federal review found “no basis” for the claims against him.
Boyle, 55, a 22-year Albany veteran, vaulted as the GOP convention choice after the Conservative and the Independence parties backed his candidacy, putting pressure on LaValle and the party to follow suit. LaValle did not ask Boyle (R-Bay Shore) to speak, as he did for Perini. Later, LaValle said Perini asked to speak. Boyle declined to comment on either issue.
LaValle also told the convention that Republican candidates will be required to sign a pledge not to accept the Democratic Party’s endorsement. Those who fail to sign the pledge, LaValle said, will have their acceptance of the nomination “ripped up.” The move also appears aimed at Boyle because Schaffer has said he is “open” to backing him for sheriff.
At the same time, however, LaValle got the convention to allow Southampton, East Hampton and Shelter Island a one-year waiver of the rule because local party officials had trouble finding candidates.
William Ferris, 70, of Southold, who did not attend the convention, said he will seek as many as 4,500 signatures to qualify for the primary ballot, for which the minimum needed is 2,000.
“I am the only qualified candidate with the integrity to serve the people of Suffolk County as district attorney,” Ferris said. “Neither of the other candidates have the integrity or qualifications to do the job.”
Larry Zacarese, assistant chief of Stony Brook University police, vowed to gather primary petitions for sheriff, citing his two decades of law enforcement and emergency service experience, which Boyle lacks.
“I’d question the good senator on what he has to offer and what is his motivation for seeking the position,” he said.
Suffolk GOP slate
Candidates for Suffolk County Legislature nominated at Monday night’s Republican convention:
- District 1: Remy Bell of Riverhead
- District 2: Heather Collins of Quogue
- District 3: Rudolph Sunderman of Mastic Beach
- District 4: Legis. Thomas Muratore of Lake Ronkonkoma
- District 5: Edward Flood of Port Jefferson Station
- District 6: Gary Pollakusky of Rocky Point
- District 7: Christine Rignola of Patchogue
- District 8: Anthony Piccirillo of Bohemia
- District 9: Douglas King of Central Islip
- District 10: Legis. Thomas Cilmi of Bay Shore
- District 11: Steven Flotteron of Brightwaters
- District 12: Legis. Leslie Kennedy of Nesconset
- District 13: Legis. Robert Trotta of Fort Salonga
- District 14: Legis. Kevin McCaffrey of Lindenhurst
- District 15: Christopher Madden pf Lindenhurst
- District 16: Hector Gavilla of Dix Hills
- District 18: Dominic Spada of Huntington
No candidates were named at the convention to run for the 17th District’s legislative seat or Family and County Court judgeships.