A federal lawsuit filed against the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office by a former Nassau County cop and three others who were mistakenly charged and then cleared in a disability fraud scheme was dismissed Friday in Manhattan federal court.
Former Nassau Sgt. Philip Blessinger, now of Martin, Florida, and three other retired cops alleged they were wrongly included in a massive 2014 case with over 100 other defendants because of lax investigation, but the charges were dropped when prosecutors realized they had real disabilities.
The suit, filed in January, said malicious prosecution and civil rights violations, but U.S. District Judge William Pauley ruled that District Attorney Cy Vance and five assistants had broad protection from liability for things they did in their official capacities.
“Plaintiffs allege that the DA Defendants conducted a subpar investigation and, as a result, indicted innocent parties,” Pauley said. “These acts are exactly the type that courts in this circuit have repeatedly found to be protected by the doctrine of absolute immunity.”
Jacob Weinstein, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, said they were “very disappointed” at the outcome.
“The judge’s definition of immunities is way too broad, and we’re seriously considering an appeal,” he said.
Vance’s office declined to comment.