Suffolk lawmaker indicted in connection with ethics investigation, faces perjury charges

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A Suffolk County lawmaker has been indicted in connection with an ethics investigation, and is now facing perjury charges.

Mastic Republican Legislator Rudy Sunderman, 49, was arraigned in court Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the charges are related to a consulting job Sunderman had with the Centereach Fire Department. They say shortly after his election in November 2017, Sunderman was told by the county Board of Ethics that he would have to give up any paid consultant work with fire departments.

They say he is accused of setting up a shell corporation run by his wife Laura to run his consulting work with the Centereach Fire Department. Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini says the same day Sunderman took his oath in office, the Centereach Board of Fire Commissioners voted to hire the shell company, Now That's Fire Management Inc., for $10,000 a month.

Defense attorney Ray Perini argues that the county's ethics law says an elected official cannot be an employee of another municipality, but can do consulting work.

Prosecutors say Sunderman lied about doing work he knew he shouldn't be doing.

Prosecutors did not seek bail and Sunderman was released on his own recognizance.

Sunderman was a longtime member and chief of the Mastic Fire Department. He says he has no intention of resigning as a legislator or as a fire chief.

Tom Cilmi, head of the Suffolk Legislature's Republican caucus, stood by Sunderman and called him one of the hardest working and most caring public officials he knows.


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