Statement from Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota:
“In my nine years as District Attorney I have prosecuted numerous public officials including town supervisors, county legislators, department heads and others without regard to political affiliation. I believe that my time as District Attorney will be defined by my aggressive and impartial investigations and prosecutions of corrupt government officials.
Today, our County Executive Steve Levy announced that he would not seek re-election and that he was turning his campaign funds over to the District Attorney’s Office. This action was taken by him to resolve a sixteen-month investigation conducted by the Government Corruption Bureau which began in the summer of 2009.
I am satisfied that the actions taken by Mr. Levy resolve the investigation in the best interests of the citizens of Suffolk County. Our investigation included the full cooperation of the County Executive. He met with prosecutors and investigators on multiple occasions to answer questions and provide information relevant to our inquiry.
There is no question that while the investigation revealed serious issues with regard to fundraising and the manner in which it was conducted, including the use of public resources, I am confident that Mr. Levy did not personally profit. The forfeiture of his 4 million dollar campaign fund demonstrates his acceptance of responsibility for these failings.
The campaign money will be distributed to those individuals who request that it be returned. The remainder will be donated to charity. To avoid political gain by another person or political party I have determined that no distribution will be made until after the November 2011 election.
The decision to allow Mr. Levy to complete his term was carefully considered and involved weighing his conduct, the need for stability in government in these difficult economic times while affording a smooth transition after the 2011 elections. You can be assured that if I believed that his actions compromised his ability to govern I would have sought his resignation.
Restraint is often more difficult than aggressive action but in this case I know it is more appropriate. This outcome ends the inquiry into Mr. Levy’s conduct. The investigation will continue with respect to the conduct of others.