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June 14, 2005

Snapshot: District Attorney Thomas Spota

SpotaSuffolk County District Attorney since 2001, elected as a Democrat after switching from the Republican party. During State Investigation Commission (SIC) hearings into police and prosecutorial misconduct in Suffolk County ordered in 1986 by Governor Mario Cuomo, Spota represented the detectives, including Detective James McCready, who wrote Marty's unfinished, unsigned and recanted "confession." The SIC found that Detective McCready had perjured himself on the stand in a murder case three years before the Tankleff murders. After Marty's conviction, Spota successfully represented McCready in a non-jury trial on charges of beating a bar patron. One of Spota's current or former law partners at the time represented Jerry Steuerman in 1989. Spota's law firm represented Jerry's son Todd Steuerman for selling cocaine out of the bagel store in the early 80's. Another of Spota's former law partners--Timothy Mazzei--was the first Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Tankleff murders. Despite these conflicts, refused to recuse himself from the recent Tankleff hearings on new evidence in the case. Before he appointed an Assistant District Attorney to handle the Tankleff hearings, he appointed as the investigator on the case Walter Warkenthien, a former colleague of McCready's who reports directly to Spota. 


[Detective McCready and his lawyer Thomas Spota following McCready's acquital on assault charges.]


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