Spota, under indictment, finishes DA career under cloud of cover-up charges

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HAUPPAUGE -

Tom Spota ended his career as Suffolk County district attorney today under the weight and scrutiny of federal charges.

Spota, a four-term DA, announced his retirement last month. The announcement came one day after a federal indictment on charges he allegedly helped cover up the beating of a handcuffed prisoner by former police chief James Burke.

At the time, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone had called for his immediate resignation.

Spota and the chief of his anti-corruption bureau, Christopher McPartland, are accused of obstructing an FBI investigation that led to the conviction of Burke.

Charges against Spota and McPartland include witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Both pleaded not guilty at their arraignment last month in federal court.

Burke is currently serving a prison sentence of three years and 10 months after pleading guilty to assaulting Christopher Loeb. Loeb had broken into Burke's SUV and taken a duffel bag that contained a gun and pornography.

Loeb was arrested this past Monday on charges in connection with the break-in of a car, stealing a purse and credit cards.

On Tuesday, Tim Sini, a Democrat and Suffolk's chief of police, won the race to replace Spota against Republican Ray Perini.

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