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Suffolk GOP taps candidates for district attorney, sheriff

06/06/2017 4:27 PM |

The Suffolk County Republican Committee named Ray Perini as its candidate for district attorney and State Senator Phil Boyle for sheriff at its nominating convention Monday night in Farmingville.

The duo will face Democratic nominees Tim Sini, the Suffolk County Police Commissioner, for district attorney and Dan Caroleo, a retired New York City police officer, for sheriff. Both of those candidates were selected by Democratic committee chair Rich Schaefer on Friday, as the party failed to fill those positions at its May 22 nominating convention.

The incumbents in both seats — district attorney Thomas Spota and sheriff Vincent DeMarco — opted not to seek re-election this year.

Mr. Perini, 69, lives in Huntington and started his career as a prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office in 1973, and then came to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office in 1976, where he started the Narcotics Bureau there.

He unsuccessfully ran a Republican primary against Mr. Spota in 2013.

Mr. Sini, 36, of Babylon, is an attorney who was appointed as Suffolk County Police Commissioner in January 2016. He is also running with cross endorsement from the Conservative and Working Families parties.

Mr. Sini, who previously served as an assistant United States Attorney, claimed in a press release that overall crime fell to the lowest level in county history in his first year as commissioner. He said he also reformed the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau to make it more responsive to community concerns.

But Mr. Sini has said he doesn’t plan to step down from his police commissioner post while he runs for district attorney, a move that has drawn criticism from Republicans and Mr. Perini.

“Police commissioner is a 24/7 job,” Mr. Perini said Monday night. “How do we know when he makes a decision as commissioner, that he’s not thinking about how it will impact his race? We’re going to ask him to step down.”

He also criticized Mr. Sini for saying to a county legislative panel during his confirmation hearing as police commissioner that he would not run for district attorney.

David Kelley, Mr. Sini’s campaign chairman, said in a recent statement: “We are in the process of setting up a structure where he has limited involvement in the daily operations of the campaign so he can continue to provide an unimpeded focus on running the police department.

“He will not, for example, personally engage in fundraising activities of any kind, nor will he engage in any campaign activities during the workday.”

Mr. Perini also criticized the Conservative party for backing “a liberal Democrat who is sitting with the Working Families party.”

He said he aims to take the politics out of the district attorney’s office.

“This is the most powerful position … they can alter your life,” Mr. Perini said.

Mr. Perini will also likely face a primary from William Ferris, 70, of Cutchogue. He’s a former assistant district attorney who said he’s trained and supervised hundreds of ADAs, overseen the investigation and prosecution of major felonies and led or supervised hundreds of felony trials, according to his web site.

Mr. Boyle, 55, of Bay Shore, has been a state senator since 2013 and was a state assemblyman from 1994 to 2012. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to former Congressman Rick Lazio (R-Brightwaters). As a state senator, he has been chair the State Senate’s Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. He also chairs the senate committee on commerce, economic development and small business.

He is running for sheriff with cross endorsement from the county’s Conservative and Independence committees.

The Democrats’ nominee, Mr. Caroleo, 64, of North Babylon, is a retired New York City police officer, a current member of the North Babylon Board of Education, and a long-time member of the North Babylon Fire Department, where he has served as chief.

The Republican committee also picked its candidates for the Suffolk County Legislature Monday, and selected Riverhead Town Republican Committee chairman Remy Bell to oppose incumbent Democrat Al Krupski in the North Fork district and Heather Collins of Quogue to oppose incumbent Bridget Fleming in the South Fork district.

Mr. Bell, who works for the Board of Election, opposed Mr. Krupski in 2015 and lost.

He did not raise any campaign funds during that run and said Monday that he might not raise any money this time either.

“At least I’m giving the people a choice,” he said.

Ms. Collins, who is also a Board of Elections employee, ran against Assemblyman Fred Thiele in 2014 and 2016 and lost both times. She also did not raise campaign funds in either race.

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Photo: The Suffolk County Republican Committee nominated Phil Boyle (left) for sheriff and Ray Perini for district attorney at Monday night’s nominating convention. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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