Powerful ex-prosecutor on trial for police beating cover-up

NEW YORK (AP) — NEWSNOW

A powerful former Long Island prosecutor is going on trial for allegedly helping cover for a former protege turned police chief who punched a handcuffed man suspected of stealing items from his police department SUV, including sex toys.

Thomas Spota, the longtime Suffolk County district attorney, allegedly conspired with the police chief and a top DA’s office deputy to pressure witnesses to not cooperate with an FBI investigation into the 2012 assault.

Opening statements are scheduled for Thursday in what’s expected to be a four-week trial for Spota and the former head of his office’s anti-corruption bureau, Christopher McPartland.

Both men have pleaded not guilty and deny all allegations of wrongdoing.

The former chief, James Burke, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and violating civil rights. He left prison in April.

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