CENTRAL ISLIP - A top official in the administration of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is facing felony charges.
As director of information technology for Suffolk, Donald Rodgers, 60, is accused of signing papers to advance a multimillion-dollar computer deal between the county and Microsoft and Dell. Prosecutors say Rodgers had no authority to sign the papers since the deal had not been approved or funded. Rodgers has also been charged with ordering a county employee to make up a requisition number so it appeared a deal was in place.
Assistant District Attorney Chris McPartland says after Rodgers obtained a false requisition number, he then appeared before the legislature and lied to them, indicating that he had never signed such an agreement.
Rodgers' defense attorney says the paperwork his client signed was non-binding and clearly stated that approval of the deal was still pending. As for Rodgers' statement to legislators, he says county officials were aware of what his testimony was going to be. He did not specify which county officials he was referring to.
Rodgers has been placed on administrative leave without pay.
McPartland, head of the Suffolk District Attorney's government corruption bureau, wouldn't say if the investigation is going beyond Rodgers.
Rodgers was charged with official misconduct and offering a false instrument. The 60-year-old was also charged with failing to disclose to the County Board of Ethics that he does computer consulting work on the side.
Rodgers was released without having to post bail and is due back in court next month.