CENTRAL ISLIP - A jury has found former Suffolk County sheriff's lieutenant and current Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh guilty of theft of funds and wire fraud.
Closing summations were delivered before the verdict Thursday. The prosecution said that Walsh stole $200,000 from taxpayers during his time with the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office. Prosecutors said he intentionally falsified his county timesheets and collected overtime when he was playing golf, gambling or attending political functions.
The defense acknowledged that Walsh did play golf, but said he worked the required hours every week as a liaison for the sheriff's department. The defense also laced into the government's key witness, Suffolk Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, who was Walsh's boss. They argued that the two had a falling out, and that DeMarco turned against Walsh.
The jury made its decision about an hour after being handed the case. They considered two charges, theft of funds and wire fraud, because Walsh's paychecks were distributed electronically through direct deposit.
Walsh faces up to 20 years behind bars, but it's expected that he will be given far less time at sentencing.