A Suffolk police officer and an investigator with the county district attorney's office have been arrested and charged with felony computer trespass, according to court records. The police officer was also charged with official misconduct.
John White, a former New York City police lieutenant and current investigator with the Suffolk district attorney's office, turned himself in early Wednesday and was arrested by his colleagues, his attorney said.
White pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip to one count of felony computer trespass, records show. He is accused of "accessing a computer at the request of individuals involved in illegal gambling," said his attorney, Robert Wolf of Manhattan. He would not elaborate. Wolf said the computer was the property of the Suffolk Police Department. White has been an investigator with the district attorney's office for about six years.
Calls to Suffolk district attorney spokesman Robert Clifford were not returned Wednesday.
Robert Dito, 57, a Suffolk police officer assigned to the Emergency Services Unit, was arrested late Tuesday by district attorney investigators. He was charged with computer trespass and official misconduct for accepting a bribe, records show. Both charges are E felonies carrying maximum sentences of 3 years in prison. New York penal law defines official misconduct as accepting "any benefit from another person for having violated his duty as a public servant."
Dito's attorney, Christopher Rothemich of Islandia, said his client had been charged, but declined to comment further.
The district attorney's office did not request bail, and a judge released both men on their own recognizance. White retired as a lieutenant from the NYPD after a 20-year career, Wolf said.
"We believe police officers have a right to due process, as do all citizens," said Suffolk Police Benevolent Association vice president Noel DiGerolamo. "If what's being alleged is found to be accurate, it would be inappropriate for me to comment beyond that without compromising the safety of other officers."
Suffolk police spokesman Timothy Motz declined to comment. Both men are due back in court on Nov. 29.