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Suffolk County district attorney reverses course on Levy agreement

Republican Ray Tierney is elected the new Suffolk County District Attorney. He defeated incumbent Democrat Tim Sini.
J.D. Allen
/
WSHU Public Radio
Republican Ray Tierney is elected the new Suffolk County District Attorney. He defeated incumbent Democrat Tim Sini.

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney is reversing course and not releasing the secret agreement that led former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to not seek reelection.

In 2011, then District Attorney Tom Spota signed an agreement where Levy agreed to give up his $4 million campaign fund and to not seek reelection in exchange for Levy not being prosecuted for unknown crimes.

Spota and his deputies were later convicted of corruption, yet the details of this agreement have yet to be made public.

The previous district attorney, Democrat Tim Sini, agreed to release the non-prosecution agreement in response to a freedom of information request from Newsday. Levy sued to block it. Now Tierney, a Republican, submitted a legal filing agreeing with Levy.

Newsday attorney, Alia Smith, said this continues the pattern of the government on Long Island trying to hide records from the public.

“You've got this non-prosecution agreement between two very high ranking public officials, you know, both of whom have been accused of corruption of some sort, and the public is not allowed to know anything about it,” she said.

In court papers, Tierney argued that releasing the agreement would have a chilling effect on future witnesses making deals with one district attorney only to have them undone by the next administration.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.