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Edward Walsh played golf, gambled on jail time, FBI agent says

Edward Walsh, arrives at federal court in Central

Edward Walsh, arrives at federal court in Central Islip for his trial on Thursday, March 24, 2016. Walsh is charged with theft of services and wire fraud. Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk County Conservative Party leader Edward Walsh put in pay slips for working at the county jail in Riverhead “over 160 times” although he was actually playing golf on a nearby course, an FBI agent testified Thursday.

The agent, Ken Hosey, said that Walsh, who is a former lieutenant in the sheriff’s department, illegally earned “just over $200,000” between January of 2011 and April of 2014 by putting in time slips for 1,500 hours he did not work and for overtime in excess of 1,000 hours.

Walsh also put in for time he was gambling at a casino, conducting business at Conservative Party functions or just being around his neighborhood in East Islip, said Hosey.

Hosey, the lead federal agent in the Walsh case, reported his conclusions during a day long review of Walsh’s department time sheets, matched with the Conservative leader’s actual locations, according to records of his locations based on his cell phone, banking, golfing and reimbursements for Conservative Party activities.

The golf course Walsh had played more than 160 times was Hampton Hills Golf and Country Club in Westhampton Beach, Hosey said under questioning by Eastern District Assistant United States Attorney Catherine Mirabile. Mirabile is trying the case with prosecutor Raymond Tierney.

Hosey is the final scheduled government witness at Walsh’s trial in federal court in Central Islip on charges of theft of government funds and wire fraud.

One of Walsh’s attorney’s, Leonard Lato, of Hauppauge, began to cross-examine Hosey before U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt recessed the trial until Monday.

Lato, and co-defense counsel William Wexler, of North Babylon, have argued that Walsh’s job gave him flexible hours and did not require him to be at the jail. They also have said their client could make up time that he did not work.

Hosey went over dozens of days in which he said Walsh had filed false time slips, rented a cart for either nine or eighteen holes of golf, gambled at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, or was in his East Islip home, instead of working at the jail in Riverhead.

In the beginning of his cross-examination of Hosey, Lato maintained that the time sheets were not necessarily accurate because until recently jail employees could change their shifts without authorization, while the time sheets would reflect their original schedule.

Lato also contended that cell phone records may not be an accurate records of where a person is located.

The government is expected to rest its case on Monday after Hosey finishes on the witness stand. Spatt said that the defense case is likely to take several more days, with the jury beginning deliberations on Friday or the following Monday.

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