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Bill Would Enable Suffolk County To Recoup Salary From Ex-Police Chief

Courtesy of the Suffolk County Legislature

Suffolk County has taken its first step towards filing a lawsuit against convicted felon and ex-police chief James Burke, in an effort to recover his salary and benefits.

Ex-Police Chief Burke pleaded guilty to beating a man while in police custody and attempting to cover it up. Suffolk County paid the victim a $1.5 million settlement and paid Burke more than $500,000 in benefits and salary.

Republican Legislator Robert Trotta put the resolution forward this week to recover taxpayer money from Burke. He said the faithless servant doctrine in New York common law gives him that power.

“If you commit a crime and then continue working for an organization after that crime is committed, all your salaries, your benefits are forfeitable. Because if that crime had been discovered, you would’ve been fired. ”

Trotta expects the resolution to pass with bipartisan support when it comes up for a vote next week.

Jay Shah is a former Long Island bureau chief at WSHU.