Attorney: Suffolk DA's Office is using asset forfeiture money for bonuses

Posted: Updated:
MILLER PLACE -

A Miller Place attorney is suing the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office saying that it is paying $3 million in bonuses to assistant district attorneys using asset forfeiture money. 

Miller Place attorney John Ray is suing for $3.25 million in damages on behalf of the taxpayers and to have the ADAs return the money.

Ray says the asset forfeiture money is supposed to exist for the victims of crimes, such as Rebecca Schaefer. The 16-year-old won a wrongful death lawsuit against the county after her father, Scott Eriksen, of Mastic, died from a head injury inflicted by a prison guard in 2005. Schaefer is still waiting for the $2 million settlement.

"He doesn't have a tombstone. I want to get it when I get my money," says Schaefer. 

Some members of the Suffolk County Legislature want the law changed to require legislative oversight of the use of the forfeiture funds. 

Ray's lawsuit is seeking $3.25 million in damages.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office issued a statement saying Ray's allegations are unfounded, and that the allocation of asset forfeiture funds as stipends to on-call ADAs and others comply with state and federal laws.
 

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