ISLIP - State Sen. Tom Croci (R – Islip) sat down with News 12 Long Island Thursday after a report was made public that claims he took advantage of his elderly aunt for his own financial benefit.
A report filed by a court-appointed evaluator back in April 2013 determined that Croci had "taken advantage" of Adele Smithers, of Mill Neck. The findings were outlined in sealed documents that were obtained by Newsday.
The documents show that Croci served as his aunt's financial trustee. He sought to take further control of her finances, claiming that she no longer had the mental faculties to make her own decisions regarding her finances.
The court-appointed evaluator disagreed, finding that Smithers did not suffer from a mental disability.
As part of a settlement, documents show Croci resigned as his aunt's financial trustee.
Croci repeatedly declined to comment on the contents of the sealed documents, even though they are now public. Croci says they don't tell the whole story, but claims he can't legally discuss the case.
"I think you know that I follow orders, and when the judge says it's sealed, don't talk about it. That's how we're going to follow the law," Croci told News 12 Long Island.
Croci says his lawyers have "made inquiries" with the court to allow him to speak publicly on the matter. He did not say whether or not it was his lawyers who requested that the documents be sealed in the first place.
Croci is a former town supervisor and a U.S. Navy veteran. He's up for re-election in November.