The man who is set to replace Tom Muratore on the Suffolk County Legislature, Nicholas Caracappa, was arrested Tuesday for alleged domestic violence-related charges.
Suffolk County Police confirmed Caracappa was arrested at a little after 3 p.m. Dec. 8 for criminal contempt 1st degree and criminal obstruction of breathing related to a domestic incident. He was held overnight and released from First District Court in Central Islip on his own recognizance Wednesday. He is next due to be back in court Jan. 21, 2021.
Caracappa was elected to the 4th district legislator seat this year with 60.7% of the vote compared to his Democratic opponent Joseph Turdik’s 39.3%. He is set to be sworn into office Jan. 4 next year.
Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Robert Calarco (D-Patchogue) said in a statement that the arrest does not impact Caracappa’s ability to take up his seat.
“The arrest of and the allegations against Legislator-elect Nicholas Caracappa are very serious. I do not know the specifics of the case and cannot comment further,” he said. “He was not to be sworn in until January, but these events do not undo the election. He has a right to his day in court. At this time my prayers are with his family.”
Caracappa’s attorney, Thomas K. Campagna, of Hauppauge-based Campagna Johnson Mady, P.C, said Thursday that the allegations are “100% false” and that his client is looking forward to his day in court “so he can be fully exonerated.”
“The allegations by Mr. Caracappa’s wife are purely retaliatory against an order of protection that Mr. Caracappa obtained by court a week or so before,” the attorney said over the phone. “The order was against his wife protecting his children against the violent act of his wife … He is looking forward to continuing his passions as a dedicated father and dedicated public servant.”
Caracappa’s family has legacy within the legislature. His mother, Rose, held the seat until her death in 1995. The Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mount Sinai was named after her. Nicholas’ brother, Joseph, held the seat until 2007. Muratore took up the seat in 2010, and passed away while still in office Sept 8.
Once he is sworn in January, he will join two other legislators who are facing criminal charges. Legislator Rudy Sunderman (R-Shirley) was indicted in 2019 for alleged perjury, ethics violations and other offenses in connection with his work as the former district manager of the Centereach Fire District that continued after he became legislator in 2018. Legislator William Spencer (D-Centerport) was indicted in October over allegedly seeking sex from a sex worker using drugs such as oxycodone as collateral.