- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - A former suburban New York police chief facing federal charges in the alleged beating of a suspect who stole sex toys and pornography from the officer’s SUV has been offered a plea deal, his attorney said.

The offer, which defense attorney Joseph Conway described as standard in federal cases, was disclosed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. Details were not discussed in court and Conway declined to elaborate.

Former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke pleaded not guilty in December to charges of deprivation of civil rights and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice. He is being held without bail. He could face more than five years in prison if convicted at trial, which is scheduled to start in March.

Conway said he will discuss the offer with his client but added: “Right now, we anticipate going to trial.”

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment.

In a letter arguing against bail for Burke, prosecutors said the former police chief also threatened to kill the suspect with a heroin overdose and “went out of control” - punching, screaming and cursing - after the suspect called him a “pervert.” They have said at least 11 current or former police officers and detectives testified before the grand jury that indicted Burke.

Christopher Loeb was arrested after someone broke into the chief’s department-issued SUV in 2012 and made off with a gun belt, handcuffs, magazines of ammunition, a box of cigars, humidor and a canvas bag that contained, among other items, sex toys and video pornography, authorities said.

Loeb later pleaded guilty to a weapons charge and was sentenced to three years in prison; he was released last summer. He has filed a lawsuit seeking damages from Burke and the police department.

Burke resigned from the force in October after a 31-year career. Before being named chief in 2012, he worked as an investigator for the Suffolk County district attorney.

The Suffolk County Police Department, with more than 2,000 officers, is among the country’s 15 largest departments. It has responsibility for patrolling much of eastern Long Island.

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