A former suburban New York police chief who faces federal charges for allegedly beating a man under arrest and then coercing officers to lie about it will receive $434,370 for unused sick and vacation time.
County Comptroller John Kennedy’s office on Monday disclosed the payout to former Suffolk police Chief James Burke, who was allowed to retire in November, Newsday reported.
Mr. Burke, 51, pleaded not guilty last month to charges of deprivation of civil rights and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice.
Federal prosecutors said the former chief took revenge against a man who stole a duffel bag stuffed with pornography and sex toys from the chief’s department-issued SUV. Mr. Burke walked into the interrogation room where the suspect was being held and allegedly beat, kicked and threatened to kill him, Newsweek reported.
Mr. Burke then bragged about his actions to other Suffolk cops, saying it reminded him of his “old days” as a young police officer, prosecutors said.
Mr. Burke, who was held without bail, is scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday. He will also get a pension, but that amount is not yet known, The Associated Press reported.
“You know what manure smells like when you first put it on a field out here? It stinks. It’s revolting,” retired Suffolk Detective Sgt. Robert Doyle told Newsweek. “But after a while, people get used to [the corruption]. People don’t pay attention to it. After a while, you just get used to the stink of s—- out here.”
County Legislator Rob Trotta, a former detective with the Suffolk County Police Department who was assigned to the FBI for 10 years, said: “Suffolk County is riddled with corruption. The large majority of the cops are great, hardworking people, but the upper hierarchy of county government is corrupt, and I’m thankful that the feds are here.”