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Former Suffolk DA And Aide Sentenced To 5 Years For Crime Coverup

Former Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota
Frank Eltman
Former Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota

Former Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota and his top aide, Chris McPartland, were each sentenced to five years in prison for their parts in covering up crimes by Suffolk’s former police chief, James Burke.

After Burke beat a handcuffed man, Spota and McPartland pressured cops to lie to a federal grand jury. During sentencing both men pleaded for leniency saying that they have already disgraced their name and family.

The federal judge, Joan Azrack, said because of Spota’s and McPartland’s enormous influence over Suffolk residents, they deserved to spend a lengthy time in jail. Burke was sentenced in 2016 to less than four years in jail.

In a statement, District Attorney Tim Sini said Spota and McPartland represented the worst of law enforcement. Sini also said his office will review the conviction of John Oliva, a Suffolk police officer who Spota convicted for leaking information to reporters.

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.