Former Suffolk police member testifies James Burke demoted him over investigation

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A former high-ranking member of the Suffolk Police Department testifying in the trial of former Suffolk District Attorney Tom Spota and his chief investigator said Wednesday he was demoted by James Burke when Burke became police chief.

Pat Cuff testified he was demoted four ranks and sent to work in a property warehouse when Burke was promoted in 2012. Cuff says he led an internal affairs investigation into Burke in the 1990s, when Burke was caught having sex with a prostitute in his patrol car while in uniform.

He testified that his demotion was retaliation. Cuff tells News 12 he knew for years that he was an enemy of Burke.

Cuff also testified that in 2005, the district attorney's office under Spota and Christopher McPartland abruptly tried to upgrade charges against his 18-year-old son, who was caught outside with Cuff's gun. Cuff says he was very upset and had been seen crying in his office by Lt. James Hickey.

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Hickey, a self-admitted member of Burke's "inner circle," previously testified that after he saw Cuff crying he called Spota, Burke and McPartland to laugh about it.

John Meehan, the former chief of patrol, also testified in court that right after Burke assaulted suspect Christopher Loeb in 2012, Burke told him, "You're going to hear a rumor that I beat a guy... and that I had kiddie porn in the car. He said it's total B.S."

Meehan also testified that Burke had conversations about the Loeb assault with detectives union official Russ McCormick and Chief Of Detectives Bill Madigan. He said in July of 2013, when the FBI was investigating Burke, Madigan told him, "If the feds are up on a wire, I'm dead."

Cuff and Meehan did not testify that they had direct knowledge of Spota or Christopher McPartland's alleged role in a cover-up of Burke's beating of a suspect.

 Burke has already served federal prison time for the assault.

 

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