County Executive Calls on District Attorney to Resign

A Long Island county executive is calling for the resignation of the local district attorney whom he accuses of operating a "criminal enterprise" via selective prosecutions.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Ballone told NBC 4 New York on Thursday that District Attorney Thomas Spota has been prosecuting political foes while protecting political allies.

Ballone vowed ask the governor to remove Spota from office if he refuses to resign.

Spota responded that Ballone's accusations are "outrageous." He characterized the county executive's call for his removal as a political vendetta stemming from his prosecution of Ballone's political friends.

"I have never been accused of wrongdoing," said Spota, who has held the office since 2012. "I have spent 14 years doing what I thought was right."

Ballone said during a news conference held outside Spota's office on Thursday that the DA's office was the center of a "culture of corruption" and urged his fellow Democrat to resign.

Bellone alleged that Spota's office has failed to prosecute possible criminal activity uncovered in wiretaps and had blocked federal law enforcement from assisting with the investigation into the unsolved murders of 10 people, whose remains have been dumped over the years near a highway leading to Jones Beach.

He also accuses Spota of protecting former police chief James Burke, who pleaded guilty in February to federal charges alleging that he beat a jailed suspect and had his officers cover up the incident.

The county executive's ultimatum came as Newsday reported the DA's office chose not to prosecute several local officials despite damaging evidence obtained by wiretaps.

Earlier this week, Sheriff Vincent DeMarco wrote an opinion piece in Newsday calling for Spota to resign and other county Republican leaders also have called on the Democratic prosecutor to step down.

Gov. Cuomo's office declined to comment on calls for Spoto's resignation.

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