WOODBURY - Sources say a Suffolk county political boss is one of the subjects of an investigation scrutinizing the time sheets of sheriff's office employees.
Just days ago, Suffolk County Correction Officer Steven Compitello was arrested for allegedly collecting money for hours he did not work. News 12 and Newsday have now learned that the sheriff's office is conducting an investigation into other employees under its jurisdiction. According to sources, the targets include Suffolk Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh, who is also a corrections lieutenant at the county jail.
Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco would not confirm that Walsh is under investigation, but a source tells Newsday that the sheriff's office is looking into allegations that Walsh may have billed his employer for hours he did not work.
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One date in question is Feb. 21. Walsh was seen attending a stakeholder meeting for a company owned by friend Gary Melius, even though his time sheet says he worked a day shift that day. Walsh says he went on his lunch break.
“I was there for about 15 minutes at lunch time, maybe 20 minutes - that's it,” says Walsh.
Sheriff DeMarco is one of Walsh's bosses, but politically, it’s a very different setup. That's because DeMarco is an elected official, who has consistently run on the Conservative line with the support of the head of the Suffolk County Conservative Party, Ed Walsh.
He says his political alliance with Walsh does not present a conflict of interest during the investigation.
“I think I have the ability to separate both, and there will be an internal, objective internal affairs investigation,” said DeMarco. “If I get the feeling there's a conflict, we can turn it over to someone else.”
Meanwhile, Walsh denies any wrongdoing.
“I don't do anything but go to work and do my job,” says Walsh.
In addition to insisting he did nothing wrong, Walsh also tells News 12 he has "no idea" if he is being investigated by the sheriff's office and that no one from the office has spoken with him about his time sheet.