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$30M lawsuit filed against Nassau, Suffolk in shooting

Thomas Moroughan, right, and his attorney, William Petrillo,

Thomas Moroughan, right, and his attorney, William Petrillo, at First District Court in Central Islip on Friday, March 4, 2011. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Cabdriver Thomas Moroughan filed a $30 million federal lawsuit against Nassau and Suffolk counties, both police departments and 18 named police officers and supervisors in February 2012.

The suit, which is in the discovery stage, alleges that off-duty Nassau police Officer Anthony DiLeonardo unjustifiably shot and beat him on the night of Feb. 27, 2011.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that members of both police departments conspired to shield DiLeonardo and his companion, Nassau police Officer Edward Bienz, from charges by manipulating the facts and fabricating evidence. That led to Moroughan being falsely arrested for assault and reckless endangerment, the lawsuit states.

Moroughan's lawsuit alleges excessive force, conspiracy, false arrest, malicious prosecution, libel and slander. It also alleges violations of Moroughan's Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendment rights for securing a false confession after interrogating him without reading the Miranda warning, depriving him of his right to counsel, and violations of due process by falsifying documents.

"It's one of the most disturbing cases I've ever handled," said Anthony Grandinette, Moroughan's civil attorney. "I've never seen anything like this in 26 years. It shocks the conscience."

Both Nassau and Suffolk counties have denied the allegations in court filings, which state any damages Moroughan suffered were due to his own negligence.

Officials from both counties and both police departments declined to comment.

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