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District attorney seizes Brookhaven councilman's computers

Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld speaks during a press conference

Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld speaks during a press conference about problems with Stony Brook student housing off campus in surrounding communities. (March 25, 2013) Credit: Steve Pfost

Brookhaven Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld confirmed Wednesday that investigators from the Suffolk County district attorney's office seized three computers from his town office.

Fiore-Rosenfeld said he did not know why the computers — which are used by him, a secretary and an aide — were taken from his office in Farmingville.

"I don't know what this is all about. It's a surprise to me," he said. "No one has made it clear to me. I don't know exactly what they are looking for."

Robert Clifford, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office, declined to comment, as did town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine.

A source close to the case said investigators seized the office computers as part of an investigation into town employees and town-owned equipment being used to circulate nominating petitions. The source said officials are looking into allegations that Fiore-Rosenfeld has asked his employees to circulate his petitions in exchange for bonuses. Several employees have been fired over the practice, the source said.

Asked about the petition allegation, Fiore-Rosenfeld's lawyer, Edward Yule of Northport, said they were "made aware of a subpoena served on the town attorney, but nothing other than that."

Earlier, he said his client was as surprised as anyone by the computer seizures.

"The first we heard of it was today [Wednesday]. I haven't seen a subpoena yet, and Steve hasn't seen it," Yule said. He added that they "intend to cooperate fully. There's nothing to hide."

Fiore-Rosenfeld, a Democrat from East Setauket, was elected to the town board in 2003. His district includes Setauket, East Setauket, Old Field, Stony Brook, Port Jefferson, Port Jefferson Station, Poquott, Terryville, and portions of South Setauket.With Sandra Peddie

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