WOODBURY - News 12 has learned that Republican legislators in Suffolk County will on Tuesday call for a federal monitor for the county’s police department.
The move comes less than a week after the arrest of former Police Chief James Burke on charges of deprivation of civil rights and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice.
Civil rights attorney Fred Brewington says he supports the move, although it is an unusual one.
"If the Legislature is concerned about their own police department, the people of Suffolk County need to be even more concerned," he says.
As previously reported, Burke is being held without bail for allegedly beating a man, Christopher Loeb, and then trying to cover it up.
Unlike New York City, both Nassau and Suffolk counties do not have a Civilian Complaint Review Board. Suffolk resident John Miller says he would like to see such a board implemented.
When asked about a federal monitor, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement, "While we are open to any constructive ideas, it is disappointing that some legislators are holding a partisan press conference to score political points."
The PBA tells News 12 that it has no comment on the matter. But on Friday, federal prosecutors told News 12 that Suffolk officers who had knowledge of Burke's alleged beating of Loeb were told by PBA officials to "change their stories."
Federal investigators say Burke "had control of people in the union."