Suffolk exec sues DA for financial records

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is suing the county's district attorney for the release of his bureau chief's financial disclosure records. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is suing the county's district attorney for the release of his bureau chief's financial disclosure records.
HAUPPAUGE -

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is suing the county's district attorney for the release of his bureau chief's financial disclosure records.

John Scott Prudenti, a longtime county prosecutor, has been accused of corruption, taking bribes and renting out his party boat to defense attorneys he squares off against in court.

"The public has a right to know if one of the highest ranking law enforcement officers in this county has committed violations that would be felony violations of the county ethics code," says Bellone.

Bellone is accusing Suffolk DA Tom Spota of protecting Prudenti, and he claims other officials can back him up.

"[County Sheriff] Vinny Demarco noted that this District Attorney's Office, under Tom Spota, has been outed as a den of corruption,” Bellone says. “Now we turn to the courts to ask for help."

Back in May, Bellone called for Spota to resign after allegations that his office failed to investigate alleged criminal wrongdoing relating to former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke, who had been convicted of wrongdoing.

But ethics law expert and attorney Paul Sabatino says Bellone's lawsuit amounts to a political grandstanding because he's suing the wrong party.

Sabatino says it's the county's ethics board that controls the financial disclosure forms.

"If he's suing the district attorney and not naming the ethics board then he's going to lose the lawsuit for sure because he's not naming the right party," Sabatino says.

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