A federal judge Tuesday denied former Suffolk County Conservative Party leader Edward Walsh’s motion for a new trial, and ordered him to report to prison in October to begin serving a two-year sentence for illegally pocketing over $200,000 in salary and overtime in his job as a lieutenant in the county sheriff’s department.
Walsh was found guilty in March of wire fraud and theft of government services for collecting the money while he was actually golfing, gambling and involved in political activities.
After a ten-day trial in federal court in Central Islip, Walsh was convicted by a jury that deliberated for one hour.
U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt also ordered Walsh to pay $202,000 in restitution, forfeit an additional $245,000, and serve three years supervised release.
The attorneys for Walsh, Leonard Lato, of Hauppauge, and William Wexler, of North Babylon, had argued earlier this month that Walsh was entitled to a new trial because federal prosecutors had withheld information from Walsh’s defense, including statements by several jail officials to FBI agents that they claimed could have been used to undermine the credibility of a key government witness, Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco.
Eastern District prosecutors Catherine Mirabile and Raymond Tierney denied that, saying that some of the officials in question had testified for the defense at the trial, and, in part, had made contradictory claims in trial testimony and affidavits.
In his 13-page decision, Spatt said there were so many witnesses that “the information contained in the allegedly suppressed evidence was introduced at trial . . . there was a mountain of evidence that demonstrated that the Defendant . . . could not be paid for the activities in which he repeatedly engaged” such as golfing on jail time.
Spatt said in summary that: “the court finds the allegedly suppressed evidence clearly does not create a reasonable probability of a different result in this case.”
Lato declined to comment, as did John Marzulli, the spokesman for the Eastern District U.S. attorney’s office.