SMITHTOWN - Suffolk's Public Safety Committee vote to approve Tim Sini as police commissioner after nearly three hours of questioning.

Sini, 35, a former federal prosecutor and aide to the county executive, was tapped to replace Commissioner Edward Webber after he retired in January.

While there were Sini supporters who testified on his behalf during the confirmation hearing, others didn't hold back their criticism.

"You have one hell of a challenge to prove things are going to change for the better," said Legislator Kate Browning (D – Shirley).  

Browning went on to call Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone's choice of James Burke as police chief in 2012 a "royal screw-up." Burke is awaiting a federal trial for allegedly beating up a suspect and then trying to cover it up.

Sini stressed that he was different and able to win people over quickly by using "honesty and transparency."

"I've created the culture from day one, where [honesty and transparency] was encouraged. That is a complete 180 from the culture in October 2015," Sini said.

The other issue that came up often during the three-hour question-and-answer period was whether the county executive should have done a wider search before selecting Sini.

"He didn't do a national search, he did a neighborhood search, and that's not good enough," said Legislator Robert Trotta (R – Fort Salonga).

The full Legislature will vote on his confirmation as police commissioner on Feb. 9.