WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has announced that he will nominate former Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco to be the U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of New York — more than two years after DeMarco’s name was submitted for the job.
DeMarco, a Conservative, won three terms as sheriff with cross-party backing and served for more than two decades in the department. Suffolk County Republican Committee chairman John Jay LaValle submitted DeMarco’s name to the White House for the post in January 2017.
“It’s something I’ve been looking forward to, and it’s a long process,” said DeMarco, 50, who retired as sheriff at the end of 2017. “And I’m ecstatic and very happy to continue my law enforcement career.”
DeMarco still must be confirmed by the Senate. Both Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) support his nomination. But New York’s Democrat Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have not indicated how they might vote.
Trump on Friday announced he also will nominate Peter M. Vito, a private investigator in Buffalo and a donor to Trump supporter Rep. Chris Collins (R-Buffalo), to serve as U.S. Marshal in the Western District of New York.
DeMarco dropped a bid for fourth term as sheriff in May 2017 when he lost his party’s support after his testimony aided the fraud conviction of former Suffolk Conservative Party chairman Edward Walsh in 2016 for golfing, gambling and politicking while on duty as a correction lieutenant.
Coincidentally, Trump announced DeMarco’s nomination the day after Walsh was released after serving most of this two-year term, to a halfway house in Brooklyn.
Trump took notice of DeMarco after going to Brentwood to highlight the fight against MS-13 in July 2017, tweeting twice in four days DeMarco’s remarks about the visit on “Fox & Friends”: "No doubt about it. For the past eight years, cops have been made to feel like they were the problem, and they're really the solution, and President Trump has stood behind them."
After Trump’s election, DeMarco on Dec. 6, 2016, donated $5,000 from his campaign fund to a Trump transition team Super PAC. And on Nov. 16, 2017, after interviewing for the post, DeMarco’s PAC set up to disperse his campaign fund gave $5,400 to Trump Victory.
Trump has been slow to nominate U.S. marshals, political appointments that presidents usually make when they start their first term. He has won confirmation, by voice vote, of 43 of the 56 marshals he has nominated for the country’s 95 judicial districts.
In three of New York’s four judicial districts, the current marshals were named by President Barack Obama.
In the Eastern District, where DeMarco would serve, career Deputy Marshal Bryan Mullee has been acting marshal since Obama nominee Charles Dunne left a year and a half ago.
If confirmed by the Senate, DeMarco would oversee protection for the federal district courts in Brooklyn, Hauppauge, Hempstead and Central Islip; apprehension of fugitives; the Witness Security Program; prisoner transportation, and the seizure of illegally gained property.