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Letter: ‘Taxpayers Take Another Hit on Police Lab’

I have previously written regarding the Nassau County Police Department Lab and the misconduct of District Attorney Kathleen Rice regarding it.  There is an investigation by the State Inspector General; motions by defendants alleging that they were wrongfully convicted and all of this will be followed by civil lawsuits claiming damages. Clearly the Police Department and District Attorney Kathleen Rice are at fault but so are those who covered up or failed to disclose the problems at the lab and exculpatory evidence. This is a monumental disgrace for this County not easily overcome by band-aid solutions but worse yet is the cost to taxpayers. The latest part of this boondoggle is the County’s retention of outside law firms with political and financial ties to the County Executive to represent those implicated.

By analogy it should be noted that insurance carriers in the case of ordinary civil litigation do not provide coverage for intentional torts or criminal wrongdoing. Our County is self-insured meaning that the taxpayers pay for these losses and legal expenses out of pocket with no insurance coverage.

When public employees have engaged in intentional or even criminal wrongdoing, taxpayers should not have to bear the cost of their wrongdoing and defenses, if any, to it.

Providing a defense to these public officials at taxpayer expense is political favoritism and corruption at its worst. This County has more than its share of fiscal problems exacerbated by politics as usual. Politicians should not be re-elected because of the dog and pony shows that they issue day to day with press releases presenting citations and awards. In fact those citations and awards should be done away with as should the Public Relations Officers who generate them – another unnecessary expense to taxpayers.

Thomas F. Liotti
Attorney, Westbury Village Justice