Message From the DA
“The duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.” ABA Standards Relating to the Prosecution Function and Defense Function, §1.1(c) (1970).
During my two terms as Suffolk County District Attorney my priority has always been to enforce the laws of this State without bias or favoritism. I accomplish this by demanding of myself and my staff that we act in a fair and non-partisan manner in our decision making.
I promise that this Office will continue to enforce the law with temperance and without malice, to seek the truth and not just convictions, to serve the law not fractional purposes and to approach all of these tasks with humility and respect.
The District Attorney is an advocate for the people of Suffolk County in the criminal justice system. The District Attorney is also the first line of defense against those whose conduct serves notice that they are not fit to live among us.
To insure the safety of all and to maintain secure, vibrant and thriving communities, it is critical that every resident who needs our services gets them. The decency of any society is defined by how it cares for the most vulnerable among us. Elder abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, narcotics, gang and gun violence continue to threaten our families and our neighborhoods.
I pledge that this office will continue to guard and defend the rights of our seniors, our women and children and punish those who prey on them. We will use every tool at our disposal including actively working with advocacy agencies and non profit groups to make sure that those who suffer abuse are not further victimized by an uncaring system.
Today, more than ever, the District Attorney must also ensure that county residents do not become victims of economic crime and if they do, to aggressively prosecute offenders. To that end, I have proactively investigated mortgage fraud, consumer fraud, prevailing wage violations for hard working men and women victimized by unfair labor practices, tax cheats and identity theft. I established specialized units and task forces to effectively prosecute these cases.
The Government Corruption Bureau has initiated cases involving dozens of corrupt public officials and has become one of the most proactive and successful models for the prosecution of public corruption in the state. I promise to continue to expose and prosecute those who violate the public trust employing the same investigative techniques used to ensnare other sophisticated criminals.
Violent street crimes, particularly those involving drugs, gangs and guns plague our communities. Our specialized anti gang and gun unit works with law enforcement officials both in and out of the county to investigate and prosecute these cases using creative investigative techniques and sophisticated technology. Assistant District Attorney’s dedicated to homicide and other violent crime prosecutions are supported by reorganized teams of investigators allowing them to present the strongest cases possible in court.
Since assuming office in 2002 I have revised the policy regarding Driving While Intoxicated cases to hold offenders more accountable, particularly when they refuse to consent to a chemical test to determine whether they are driving while intoxicated. I have been a strong supporter of many legislative reforms in this area. Despite changes in law and policy, DWI remains a menace to our residents and personal injury and death from drunk driving is a serious public health and criminal justice issue. I pledge to continue my efforts to rid this epidemic from our lives.
We must also remember to fight for those who every day risk their lives to protect ours. Those who assault law enforcement officers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. A police officer performing a lawful duty does not assume the risk of intentional injury.
The English novelist John Galsworthy wrote, “The law is a majestic edifice, sheltering and protecting all of us, with each stone resting on another.”
The people of Suffolk County have entrusted me to place another stone on that “majestic edifice”.
This is the responsibility I have accepted as your District Attorney. In my every word and deed I will continue to prove myself worthy of the trust and confidence you have placed in me.
Thomas J. Spota
Suffolk County District Attorney