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Tim Sini

By Rita J. Egan and Julianne Mosher

Election night, Nov. 2, found many Democratic candidates gathering at the IBEW Local 25 union hall in Hauppauge, while Republicans attended a get together at Stereo Garden in Patchogue. The Hauppauge event was a more somber one as some Democrats in the county lost their seats, while other races were close ones.

Rich Schaffer, who heads up the Suffolk County Democratic Committee, said Tuesday night’s results spoke more about what was happening on the national level than about the candidates.

“This was just, as you see, a big wave that took out some really good elected officials, and if you were a challenger, you had even a steeper row to hoe as opposed to an easy time, like we’ve normally been able to do,” he said.

While candidates and supporters eagerly awaited the results of in-person votes, the final tallies may not be known in some races for a few weeks due to the Suffolk County Board of Elections still needing to count absentee ballots. Results are as of the morning of Nov. 3.

Suffolk County district attorney

The race between county District Attorney Tim Sini (D) and prosecutor Ray Tierney, who ran on the Republican and Conservative lines, was a contentious one. At the forefront, Tierney questioned whether Sini has been as tough on crime as the DA himself has said, especially regarding the MS-13 gang.

At the end of the night, Tierney emerged the winner with 154,569 votes (57.34%). Sini garnered 114,943 (42.64%). Sini was first elected to the position in 2017.

“I am proud and humbled to stand before you here today,” Tierney said during his victory speech. “Despite being running against an incumbent, despite not having a lot of money in the beginning, despite not having the support of a lot of institutions — not for one day did I feel like an underdog, because of you guys.”

Tierney added his goal is to “fight every day to keep the citizens of Suffolk County safe.”

“I will reach out into the community to develop relationships so we can all have faith in our district attorney’s office,” he said.

Suffolk County sheriff

Errol Toulon Jr. (D) has been county sheriff since 2017 and was seeking his second term this election season. His opponent, William Amato, who ran on the Republican ticket, was not actively campaigning.

At the end of the night, Toulon was declared the winner with 142,510 (54.28%). Amato received 119,947 (45.69%).

Toulon Tuesday night was overwhelmed as he thanked those in attendance at the union hall.

“I do want to thank all of you for your constant support, not just your support now, but over the last four years of talking to me and encouraging me during some difficult circumstances in taking over the sheriff’s office, and I hope to do a better job over the next four years than I did over the last four years,” Toulon said. 

Suffolk County legislators

County Legislator Nick Caracappa (R-Selden) won his seat for the 4th Legislative District with 8,748 votes (71.52%). Caracappa took on the role during a special election in 2020 following the death of Legislator Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma). The incumbent’s opponent, Dawn Sharrock, on the Democratic ticket, had a total of 3,476 votes (28.42%).

“I’m looking forward to​​ making real changes,” Caracappa said. “All the families here work hard and they deserve this victory — not just for the Republicans, this is for everybody. It’s a victory for Suffolk County — it’s a victory for the hardworking middle class.”

Sharrock said Tuesday night she sees herself running for office again.

“I honestly feel like I’ve learned so much,” she said. “I’ve grown so much. I’ve learned even just so much about myself. It’s been an experience that I’m so glad I was able to have. I’ve been surrounded by so many wonderful people, so many people who have supported me, never doubting my ability. It’s inspiring, and it’s uplifting. I have two daughters, a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old, and they’re so inspired by my journey and that means so much.”

Caracappa said he hopes that Sharrock continues to serve her community.

“It’s not easy to do that,” he said. “I respect anybody who wants to make positive change.”

The race in the county’s 5th District, which includes the Three Village Area and Port Jefferson, is a tight one. County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) was in the lead with 7,582 votes (50.25%). Salvatore Isabella, who ran on the Republican ticket and did not actively campaign, had 7,508 votes (49.75%).

The night was a nail-biter for Hahn, who is up for her sixth term.

“I am cautiously optimistic that once all the votes are counted, voters will return me to office and I’ll be honored to continue to serve my community,” Hahn said in a statement Wednesday morning. “I look forward to continuing my work to protect our Long Island way of life and make a difference for our working families.”

County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) was seeking her sixth term in office. The incumbent trailed with 7,141 votes (42.10%). Town of Brookhaven employee Brendan Sweeney won the race with 8,329 votes (49.11%). The newcomer ran on the Republican ticket. Conservative candidate Anthony DeSimone garnered 1,488 votes (8.77%).

Sweeney declared victory during Tuesday night’s event.

“It feels so good,” he said. “The voters spoke. They want change for this county and now with me and the rest of the newly elected legislators, we can do what’s best for the people.”

Anker said she was hoping to continue as she has many projects she would like to complete.

“I’ll continue to do something to stay in the area of helping people, that’s my goal, my priority, and I appreciate all those people that came out to vote,” she said. “But this was, I think, a national tsunami.”

The legislator added her 6th District is a Republican area, and it has always been an uphill battle for her.

“I’m just very fortunate to have served as long as I have, over 10 years, and do all the projects and initiatives that I have,” she said.

In the 12th District which includes parts of the Town of Smithtown, Lake Grove, Lake Ronkonkoma and Centereach, county Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) won her fourth term in office with 12,629 votes (74.57%). Her opponent Mike Siderakis, who ran unsuccessfully for state senator against Mario Mattera (R-St. James) last year, stopped actively campaigning this summer. Siderakis obtained 4,301 votes (25.40%).

Kennedy said during her victory speech at Stereo Garden that the win proves how well the party works together.

“We work hard, we have good values and we stand together as a team,” she said.

County Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) garnered 10,896 votes (53.09%) and won his fifth term in office. Also on the ballot were Democrat Kevin Mulholland, who didn’t actively campaign, and won 4,693 votes (22.87%), and Michael Simonelli on the Conservative ticket, who campaigned but didn’t debate Trotta this election season. Simonelli had 4,932 votes (24.03%).

The district includes parts of Smithtown as well as Fort Salonga and portions of Commack and East Northport.

Trotta in an email statement said, “I am thrilled and honored that the people of the 13th Legislative District did not pay attention to the outright lies made by the police unions, of which my Conservative opponent was the treasurer, and [the people] voted for me based upon my record of fighting for the taxpayers, working for fiscal stability and helping my constituents.”

The 18th District, which sits in the Town of Huntington, included candidates Mark Cuthbertson (D), currently serving as Huntington Town councilman, and Stephanie Bontempi, a newcomer to the political field. The two decided to vie for the seat after county Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) decided not to run this year. He is currently facing charges for allegedly trading oxycodone for sex.

Bontempi emerged the winner with 11,419 votes (53.89%), while Cuthbertson 9,765 votes (46.08%).

“Today is a new day for Suffolk County,” she said. “With this victory, we readily flipped the balance of power in the Legislature. We changed the list of priorities. Our neighbors and the community have chosen accountability, transparency and integrity. They’ve chosen a peer over an insider. I cannot wait to get started in working with my new colleagues.”

Cuthbertson said he never says never, but he doesn’t see himself going back to town politics currently. He said he was glad he ran for county legislator.

“We laid it all out there, and I’m at peace with how much we did,” he said.

Town of Brookhaven

Incumbent Donna Lent (R) faced Ira Costell (D) running for town clerk of the Town of Brookhaven. Lent, who is serving her second term as town clerk, has managed day-to-day operations such as issuing death certificates and handicap parking permits, while land-use applications are filed within the office.

Costell has taken leadership roles in environmental causes such as the Suffolk County Watershed Protection Advisory Committee and served as chair of the county’s Pine Barrens Review Commission. He has been passionate about the fight against opioid addiction and prescription drug abuse.

Lent won her seat with 54,318 votes (67.91%), while Costell had 25,642 (32.06%).

Town of Smithtown

Incumbent Ed Wehrheim (R) faced Democrat and newcomer to the political field Maria Scheuring in the race for Smithtown supervisor. The incumbent has been a part of town government for nearly 50 years. He won his first term as supervisor in 2017 after beating out Patrick Vecchio (R) who served in the position for nearly four decades.

Scheuring, an attorney, grew up in the Bronx, and moved to Smithtown in 2006 where she has a private practice dealing in matters from guardianship to visiting clients in nursing homes to looking over music contracts.

Smithtown residents voted back in Wehrheim Nov. 2. The incumbent had 20,446 votes (75.01%), while Scheuring garnered 6,806 (24.97%).

In an email statement, Wehrheim said he was humble and grateful for the support.

“Our first election cycle we set out to talk with the people in the community,” he said. “We didn’t preach or promise. We simply asked, ‘What do you want from your local leaders?’ We then devoted these past four years to delivering for the community. We didn’t kick the can and wait for help when COVID-19 inflicted its wrath upon us. We looked at every obstacle as an opportunity. I believe that the voting public visually and physically sees what we’ve accomplished in a short period of time: the parks, athletic fields, community entertainment, downtown improvements. They want more and we are eager to deliver.”

Scheuring said Tuesday night she learned a lot during the campaign and just how complicated it can be. The newcomer to the political field said she is interested in seeking office in the future, and she said regarding a position such as town supervisor the issues aren’t Democratic or Republican.

“It’s more, ‘Do we think this is the best for the town?’” she said.

Town of Smithtown councilmembers, Lynne Nowick (R) and Tom McCarthy (R), regained their seats with 19.833 votes (37.46%) for Nowick and 19,753 votes (37.31%) for McCarthy. Democratic candidates, Dylan Rice and Marc Etts, did not actively campaign and received 6,965 (13.16%) and 6,378 votes (12.05%) respectively.

Nowick thanked voters for putting their trust in her in an email statement.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Town Board to keep Smithtown the alluring town that it is,” she said. “Quality of life in Smithtown is the highest priority. We will all continue to preserve our beautiful parks, beaches, golf courses and clean up any eyesores to keep Smithtown beautiful.”

McCarthy said in an email statement the voters sent a loud and clear message, and “it was a great night, not just for us but for all of Long Island.”

“I am extremely grateful to the Smithtown voters for their continued support and am eager to devote these next four years to delivering for the constituency,” he said. “We’re on the cusp of some big improvements coming to Smithtown, with a timeline to sewering Smithtown in place, a shovel in the ground in Kings Park, slated for January and St. James has never looked so good. We’re going to finish what we started and then some, creating an ideal community for our young professionals, families and seniors to call home indefinitely.”

Vincent Puleo ran unopposed for town clerk, and Robert Murphy was also the lone name on the ballot for superintendent of highways.

Town of Huntington

Two councilmen and a newcomer were on the ballots for Town of Huntington supervisor after current town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) decided not to seek reelection. Councilmen Ed Smyth (R) and Eugene Cook, who ran as a third-party Independent candidate, gained 25,409 (56.34%) and 1,746 (3.87%) votes, respectively.

Democratic candidate Rebecca Sanin, president and CEO of nonprofit Health & Welfare Council of Long Island, had 17,940 votes (39.78%).

With councilmen Cuthbertson running for county legislator and Smyth running for town supervisor, two seats were up for grabs on the Town Board. Candidates David Bennardo and Sal Ferro ran on the Republican and Conservative party lines, while Joseph Schramm and Jennifer Hebert ran on the Democratic ticket. Bennardo and Ferro emerged the winners with 26,669 (30.46%) and 25,206 (28.79%), respectively. Hebert had 18,335 votes (20.94%) and Schramm 17,328 (19.79%).

Andre Sorrentino beat out incumbent Kevin Orelli for superintendent of highways with 25,565 votes (56.69%). Orelli garnered 19,524 (43.29%).

Photo by Rita J. Egan

The race between Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini (D) and prosecutor Ray Tierney, who is running on the Republican and Conservative lines, has been a contentious one. At the forefront, Tierney has questioned whether Sini has been as tough on crime as the DA himself has said, especially regarding the MS-13 gang.

The two sat down with TBR News Media’s editorial staff Oct. 11 to discuss several issues including the biggest ones facing Suffolk County.

Meet the candidates

Sini was first elected to the DA’s office in 2017 and is running for his second term. His background includes being an assistant attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York where he ultimately specialized in violent crimes, which included prosecuting murder trials. He went on to serve as Suffolk’s assistant deputy county executive for public safety and was appointed to the county police commissioner position in January of 2016.

“I love my job,” Sini said. “I wanted to serve in my own backyard.”

Photo by Rita J. Egan

Tierney also grew up in Suffolk County. He began his law career in the Suffolk DA’s office under DA James Catterson (R).

The challenging candidate left the DA’s office in 1999 and went on to work for a private firm and returned to the DA’s office in 2002 and remained for another six years.

He then worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York as an assistant attorney for more than 11 years.

He left the office in 2019 to become an executive assistant district attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s office where he was in charge of the violent criminal enterprises bureau, crime strategies unit and body worn camera unit.

In order to run for Suffolk County DA, Tierney had to leave the Brooklyn office and is currently Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.’s chief counsel for compliance and enforcement.


Sini said crime since he became police commissioner and even as DA has gone down each year. He said since he’s been in office violent crimes are down by about 30% and overall crimes more than 20%. He added year-to-date crime is down 7%.

“We’ve been very effective in keeping Suffolk safe, and also moving the criminal justice system in the right direction, but we knew that we had to reform the DA’s office and that’s why I ran initially,” he said.

Weeks before his election Sini’s predecessor, former DA Tom Spota (D), was arrested. Sini said the office has been reformed in various ways. There has also been the hiring of more than 100 people, an increase in diversity and an overhauling of the training program.

Tierney disputed Sini’s crime statistics saying shootings are up in Suffolk County, and he wants to use his experience in crime strategies to bring those numbers down.

“Statistics can be manipulated,” Tierney said. “What we’re going to do is we’re going to index the crimes.”

Tierney has criticized Sini’s approach during his campaign. He said the DA’s office will announce numerous indictments via press releases but he said the office doesn’t send out as many announcements about convictions.

“I don’t dispute for a fact that he has very splashy arrests,” Tierney said. “I’m talking about results.”

He also criticized Sini for the number of times his office has used plea bargaining, giving the example of a drug dealer that Sini charged with a top count in 2021. However, he said, a year earlier that same dealer was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance and then allowed to plea.

“If he’s a kingpin in 2021, why do you give him a misdemeanor in 2020?” Tierney said.

Sini said pleading in certain cases is not unusual, and the DA’s office may not have the evidence needed in 2020.

MS-13 gang

Photo by Rita J. Egan

Tierney said Sini talks about the biggest MS-13 gang busts and asked for defendants’ names, pleas and sentences. He also asked why not one was charged with murder. 

“If you have a crime strategies unit, if every two weeks you’re letting the statistics come out the stats will speak for themselves,” the prosecutor said.

Tierney said doing so is an example of being independent from the police and county executive.

Sini said his office has been part of one of the largest MS-13 takedowns, where 96 people were indicted in one county. The case involved three years of wiretapping investigations. The takedown netted a multitude of arrests, and Sini said his office is now prosecuting the cases and is having a lot of success.

The DA said the reason why many were charged with murder conspiracy instead of murder was because law enforcement was able to stop the killings from happening due to the wiretaps used in the investigation.

“Our detectives would go out and stop the violence, and then we charged the defendants in some cases with murder conspiracy,” he said. “We stopped 10 murders from happening that way.”

He said the office, in addition to murder conspiracy pleas, has received pleas to assault and criminal possession of weapons, which have significant sentences attached to them.

“We’re making a difference in terms of MS-13 on Long Island, there’s no denying that,” Sini said. “And it’s not just the DA’s office, and we’re not suggesting otherwise. It’s a collaborative effort from the local police department, all the way up to our federal government.”

Tierney said there were 46 gang members on the indictment, and each one was responsible for two murders, which Sini interrupted and said it was murder conspiracy.

“Now he said he thwarted 10 murders,” Tierney said. “Now how exactly did he thwart those 10 murders? By arresting them? Well, the manner in which he arrested them was, he had this big splashy takedown after two years and then he arrested all 96 at once. So, in order for that statement to be true, that would have meant that as he prepared his press release, as he called all the media, as he got everything all ready for the takedown, the night before 10 murders became apparent. And then he took those individuals down.”

Tierney said he has a problem with that style as “that’s not how it works when we do our MS-13 indictments.”

“We take them down as soon as possible,” he said. “We don’t care about the indictment. We care about the results, and you can’t thwart 10 murder conspiracies, all at once, it’s an impossibility. There’s no way that 10 murder conspiracies come to fruition at the exact date of the takedown.”

Tierney said Sini seals his cases because he doesn’t want the public to see the plea bargains that he has given.

Sini said that was false since indictments are public, except for certain cases that may need to be sealed due to cooperators or under certain circumstances, and it’s appropriate to do so.

Drug epidemic

Sini said the drug epidemic has been one of the most significant public safety problems for more than a decade. He said the approach is investing in prevention, treatment, recovery and law enforcement.

“Law enforcement even plays a role in treatment, too, because you can create and implement diversion programs, where you get low-level offenders who are suffering from addiction into treatment programs,” he said.

He added drug offenders also need to be aggressively investigated and prosecuted.

“We’ve done that,” he said. “I’ll give you two examples, both in terms of bringing operators and major trafficker charges the top felony counts, these are significant prosecutions, and we’re leading the state on doing that.”

He said the sentences can be 25 years to life. 

Tierney said he feels the most significant public safety problem is the rise of crime in the county, whether gun violence or the opioid epidemic.

He added it’s important to keep an eye on the U.S. southern border as powder fentanyl is being brought into the country. The powder form is sprinkled into cocaine unbeknownst to the buyer.

Summing up

Sini said that Tierney has criticized him for not having as much trial experience as he, and said that’s just an issue of age, since he is younger than the challenger. The DA said that while prosecuting is part of the job there is more to it.

“We’re running to be a CEO of a major law firm,” he said. “I have significant managerial experience with a track record. He has zero.”

Sini said he believes his office has done “great work on a number of different fronts,” and he’s running on his record.

“We brought some of the most significant cases in the region on a variety of public safety fronts — the drug epidemic, gang violence, human trafficking, environmental crime.”

Tierney said he never thought he would get involved in the political process.

“I think what we’re seeing is our leadership is gaslighting us,” he said. “We’re being told everything’s great, everything’s wonderful. They are talking points.” 

Tierney said the main function of the office is to prosecute.

“We are dismissing cases,” he said. “We’re not indicting cases. This is the management of the office, but to say you’re a CEO and a manager’s office, it is the prosecutor’s office. We need someone to prosecute those cases.”

The winner of the DA race will hold office for the next four years.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) held a press conference last week, criticizing Democrats over the hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions made by the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association.

Trotta made his case Oct. 21 with paperwork and news clips to back up his claims.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

This comes less than two weeks before the Nov. 2 election, where he attacked District Attorney Tim Sini (D) and County Executive Steve Bellone (D). 

“What we have here is New York State election law that’s being violated over and over again every single day — and it’s costing the taxpayers of this county millions of dollars,” Trotta said. 

According to the legislator, “New York State election law is very clear. All campaign contribu-tions must be voluntary. You cannot force an employee to give you money, but that’s exactly what’s happening here in Suffolk County.”

Trotta said that county union employees are being “forced” to give money and cannot get out of doing so. 

Photo by Julianne Mosher

“They write letters to the district attorney, they write letters to the county executive, the coun-ty comptroller and they don’t stop it,” he said. “And that’s wrong. It corrupts county govern-ment and why does it corrupt county government? Because the unions gain so much power by giving money to certain politicians. They can never be beat.”

A retired Suffolk County police officer himself, Trotta is also seeking reelection next week. 

He recalled that as an SCPD employee, he approved a $1 per paycheck deduction ($26 a year) to go to the PBA. However, he said he never authorized additional funds be given to political campaigns. 

Trotta also said he is just one of two elected officials in the legislature who do not take money from the police union. 

Suffolk County Police arrested a Selden man after he targeted Hispanic men and brought them to remote locations and attacked them.

Christopher Cella drove to the vicinity of La Placita, located at 711 Horseblock Road in Farmingville, and picked up a 52-year-old Holbrook resident at approximately 8:15 a.m. on Friday, September 17. Cella brought the man to an abandoned construction site on Blue Point Road in Farmingville, where he attacked him.

Photo from SCPD

Cella then left the construction site and drove to the vicinity of 7-Eleven, located at 3000 North Ocean Ave. in Farmingville, where,  just after 9 a.m., he picked up a 60-year-old Medford resident. Cella brought him to the Blue Ridge Condominium Complex, located on Granny Road in Medford. There, Cella attacked and choked the man before the victim was able to escape.

The following morning, at approximately 8 a.m., Cella went back to the North Ocean Avenue location and picked up a third victim, a 47-year-old Brentwood resident. Cella attempted to bring him to an unknown location. The man became suspicious and was able to get out of the vehicle. 

 Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit detectives, in coordination with 6th Squad detectives and Sixth Precinct Crime Section officers, arrested Cella, 19, of 254 Adirondack Drive, without incident at his home at approximately 10:15 a.m. on Sunday. He was charged with two counts of Aggravated Harassment 2nd Degree, two counts of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing, two counts of Unlawful Imprisonment 2nd Degree under the Hate Crimes Law, and one count of Reckless Endangerment 1st Degree under the Hate Crimes Law. 

“The defendant allegedly targeted these victims because of their ethnicity and lured them in under false pretenses before carrying out these violent attacks,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini. “This is a highly disturbing case, and my Office’s Hate Crimes Task Force will work in collaboration with the SCPD Hate Crimes Unit to investigate and prosecute these incidents thoroughly.”

Cella was arraigned on the charges today in Suffolk County First District Court and was released on supervised release with GPS monitoring. He is being represented by the Legal Aid Society and is due back in court on Sept. 24.

The investigation is ongoing, and Sini urges anyone who believes he or she may be a victim of Cella to contact the Suffolk County Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit at 631-852-6553.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sheetal Shetty, of the Felony Offense Bureau’s Major Crime Unit, who is a member of the District Attorney’s Office’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Suffolk County D.A. Raymond Tierney

A former Suffolk assistant DA is ready to take over the main seat in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Ray Tierney, who will be running on the Republican and Conservative tickets Nov. 2 to challenge current DA Tim Sini (D), stopped by TBR News Media’s office last week to introduce himself and answer some questions about his campaign.

“When I talk about this contest, I say that it is a contest between the prosecutor and the politician, or when you look at my opponent’s record — what he’s done and what he’s claimed to have done, more accurately — it’s a contest between the prosecutor and the pretender,” Tierney said.


Tierney resides in the Town of Brookhaven with his wife, Erica, and their four children.

The prosecutor grew up in Commack and is a graduate of St. Anthony’s High School where he played football and was a member of the school’s track team. He went on to play football for Brown University where he graduated in 1988, and after taking a short time off from his studies, he attended St. John’s University’s School of Law.

He began his law career in the Suffolk County DA’s office under DA James Catterson (R).

“At first, I had a very sort of infantile concept of what it meant to be a lawyer,” Tierney said. “I always wanted to be a prosecutor. I always wanted to be in court. Although there’s so many things you could do, that’s all I really ever wanted to do, and as I got older, more sophisticated, my focus never changed.”

He decided to leave the DA’s office in 1999 when his first two children were born and worked for a private firm. Tierney said the tragic events of 9/11 changed his life. He was at a meeting in Queens when the attacks happened, and he watched the towers fall on TV.

“I was driving back out east and all the emergency vehicles were flooding into the city, and I could see the smoke and I was, like, ‘What am I doing with my life?’” he said. “This job that I have right now is inconsequential. So, I wanted to get back into public service.”

He returned to the DA’s office in 2002 during the time of Tom Spota (D) and worked there for another six years. Tierney said he decided to leave the office when he was told they may fire him for insubordination.

“They tried to get rid of me because I wouldn’t go along with their illegal, unethical ways,” he said. “I worked in an office whose job it was to uproot political corruption. But, instead, it was the office’s leadership that was corrupt, as history has proven.”

He then went on to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York as an assistant attorney for more than 11 years.

He left the office in 2019 to become an executive assistant district attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s office where he was in charge of the violent criminal enterprises bureau, crime strategies unit and body worn camera unit.

In order to run for Suffolk County DA, Tierney had to leave the Brooklyn office and is currently Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.’s chief counsel for compliance and enforcement.

His experience

During his time in Brooklyn, among his responsibilities, Tierney oversaw violent street gang investigations and prosecutions. He came to the position with extensive experience prosecuting MS-13 cases, which he said led to the incarceration of dozens of gang members.

One of the most high-profile MS-13 cases involved gang leaders Heriberto Martinez and Carlos Ortega. The two were found guilty for commissioning five murders in 2010, including Vanessa Argueta, 19, of Central Islip, and her son Diego Torres who was only 2 years old. Martinez and Ortega are currently serving life sentences. Tierney also tried Adalberto Guzman who was found guilty of killing the 2-year-old and is also serving a life sentence.

Tierney was the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Ed Mangano, former Nassau County Executive, and Mangano’s wife as well as former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto for corruption in 2018.

In addition to gang violence and public corruption, he also has been a prosecutor on cases involving Colombian drug cartel, racketeering and white-collar crimes.

Issues with Sini

Tierney takes issue with the press releases sent out by the DA’s office. He said he feels a high percentage of the releases are about arrests and arraignments but not about sentencing.

“What he does, because he’s in show business, he has the glitzy arraignment, and this is the biggest, baddest, greatest case, and then you never hear what happens at the time of the sentence,” the candidate said.

Tierney added he could take any of Sini’s accomplishments and dissect them and show that the current DA is “a fraud” and is “looking for that initial blast of publicity.”

“You don’t get to decide where your next case comes from, the streets tell you where the next case is,” Tierney said. “So, if you have an investigation here but the violence is settled here, you put your resources here, you put your resources there.”

He gave an example that Sini convicted several MS-13 members on charges such as acts of conspiracy instead of murder or gun charges. He said Sini then turned the gang members on each other so they would testify against one another. The result was they each pled to lower charges and got out of jail.

Tierney said he would use overarching tactics such as conspiracy, but then tie the case to the murders committed and pull the case all together to ensure the murderers would serve jail time.

His campaign

Tierney said the job is a balance between law enforcement and fairness, and that will be his goal if elected. He added he has never aligned himself to one party and has prosecuted defendants on both sides of the political aisle. He is running to bring experience, integrity and independence to the office.

He said regarding the county and the Suffolk County Police Department, it’s important to work with them but also maintain independence from each other.

“When it comes to law enforcement, I make the decisions,” he said. “No one else makes the decisions. I support the county, I support the police department. But I don’t work for them when it comes to law enforcement, and I don’t excuse bad behavior.”

District Attorney Tim Sini (D). File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini (D) today announced the indictment of an alleged gang member for Attempted Murder for shooting two victims in Port Jefferson Village.

“This was a senseless act of gun violence committed by a dangerous individual,”  Sini said. “Both victims have been left with severe lasting impacts as a result of the shooting. My Office will continue to hold gang members and perpetrators of gun violence accountable.”

Ethan Ladd, 20, is charged with two counts of Attempted Murder, a class B violent felony; two counts of Assault in the First Degree, a class B violent felony; Criminal Use of a Firearm in the First Degree, a class B violent felony; and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C violent felony.

Ladd has been identified by law enforcement as a member of the Just Chasing Money (“JCM”) gang.

At approximately 2 a.m. on June 19, Ladd entered a restaurant near 109 Main Street in Port Jefferson where he encountered a 23-year-old man and a 20-year old man and allegedly became engaged in an argument with one of the men. Ladd, the two men and several other individuals moved to a nearby parking lot where a physical altercation ensued with one of the men. 

Ladd allegedly retrieved a .380 caliber handgun from his vehicle and shot one of the men in the abdomen. He then allegedly shot the other man twice in the leg and once in the arm at close range before fleeing the scene in his vehicle.

Both victims were transported to a local hospital with serious physical injuries.

Following an investigation by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Suffolk County Police Department, Ladd was arrested on June 20.

If convicted of the top counts, Ladd faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.

Ladd was arraigned on the indictment today by Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei.

The People requested that bail be set in the amount of $1 million cash or $5 million bond. The Court transferred bail from Ladd’s arraignment in Suffolk County District Court in the amount of $25,000, which Ladd previously posted.

He is due back in court on Aug. 26 and is being represented by Steven Politi.

 This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sheetal Shetty, of the Felony Offense Bureau.


File photo

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini (D) and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart announced the indictment of a Centereach man for allegedly stabbing and critically injuring a police officer following a motor vehicle crash in which the defendant was driving while impaired by methamphetamine.

Jonathan Nunez, 25, is charged with Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer, a class B violent felony; Assault in the First Degree, a class B violent felony; Assault on a Police Officer, a class C violent felony; two counts of Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony; Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor; Resisting Arrest, a class A misdemeanor; Leaving the Scene of an Incident Resulting in Physical Injury, a class A misdemeanor; Reckless Driving, a misdemeanor; and Operating a Motor Vehicle While Impaired by a Drug, a misdemeanor.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. on April 10, Nunez was driving a 1999 Mercedes Benz southbound on South Ocean Avenue in Patchogue when he was allegedly observed driving erratically with no headlights on by Suffolk County Police 5th Precinct Officer Christopher Racioppo.

Racioppo activated his emergency lights and attempted to pull the vehicle over, at which time Nunez allegedly fled at a high rate of speed and crashed into a 2004 Nissan at the intersection of South Ocean Avenue and Brook Street.

Nunez allegedly exited his vehicle following the crash and fled on foot into the yard of a nearby residence. Nunez then allegedly became engaged in a physical altercation with Racioppo and stabbed him in the leg, severing his femoral artery and a vein.

Two good Samaritans assisted responding 5th Precinct officers in rendering emergency medical aid to Racioppo and apprehending Nunez.

“This defendant was allegedly high on drugs and driving erratically, and instead of pulling over and complying with lawful commands, he decided to speed through a residential area and ultimately attacked a police officer,” Sini said. “These are all conscious decisions that the defendant made — decisions that put so many peoples’ lives at risk —including Officer Racioppo, who is lucky to be alive thanks to the swift actions of the responding officers, good Samaritans, and the medical professionals at both Long Island Community Hospital and Stony Brook University Hospital. I’ll say this clearly and unequivocally: We will do whatever it takes to hold this defendant accountable for his horrific actions.”

Racioppo was transported to Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue and then transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery for the ruptured artery and was in critical condition. He was released from the hospital on April 26.

“Officer Racioppo is thankfully home today, but he has suffered a grave injury that will take a lot of time to come back from,” Commissioner Hart said. “It was a lesson in courage that we saw when Officer Racioppo was viciously attacked and officers came to his rescue without question. I want to thank the District Attorney and his team on behalf of the men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department for holding this defendant accountable and bringing him to justice.”

Following the incident, the driver of the Nissan was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Nunez was transported to Long Island Community Hospital.

“The defendant was extremely combative and extremely violent,” Sini said. “At no point did he have any interest in complying with lawful commands by members of the police department, and that behavior continued when he was brought to the hospital, where he was combative with the medical staff as well.”

Nunez was arraigned on the indictment before Suffolk County Court Judge Stephen Braslow and was remanded without bail. He is being represented by the Legal Aid Society and is due back in court on June 2.

If convicted of the top count, Nunez faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison.


Photo from the DA office

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini (D) and Suffolk County Water Authority Chairman Patrick G. Halpin announced at a press conference on April 22 the launch of a first-of-its-kind partnership to monitor Suffolk County’s groundwater and identify the source of any contaminants for the potential investigation and prosecution of polluters by the District Attorney’s Office.

“The short term goal here is to identify sources of pollution for potential investigation and criminal prosecution,” Sini said. “This sends a very important message that we will not tolerate bad actors contaminating our groundwater. The long term goal is to ensure that we leave our future generations what was left to us: the ability to turn on the faucet and drink that water with peace of mind.”

SCWA Chairman Patrick G. Halpin said the partnership will hopefully stop pollution in Long Island’s groundwater before it becomes an issue. 

“It is therefore a huge victory for SCWA ratepayers and a huge victory for Long Island’s environment,” he said.  

Photo from the DA office

The partnership is the latest initiative implemented by the DA’s office to combat environmental crimes in Suffolk County. The monitoring of groundwater for pollutants was highlighted by a landmark Special Grand Jury report issued by the Office in 2018, which concluded that protecting the environment of Suffolk County is of paramount importance in light of the fact that Long Island sits atop an aquifer, which is the sole source of drinking water for its residents.

Sini and Halpin announced that the District Attorney’s Office and SCWA will enter into a memorandum of understanding in which the SCWA will provide groundwater data at no cost to investigators in the District Attorney’s Office to assist with its investigation of environmental crimes.

SCWA will also map and model the flow of groundwater in Suffolk County to enable the District Attorney’s Office to identify and investigate sources of pollution.

 If the DA’s office becomes aware of a potential contamination site, the MOU allows for the SCWA to develop monitoring wells and conduct groundwater and soil testing to determine quality of groundwater and soil in that location. The SCWA will also analyze any groundwater samples collected by the District Attorney’s Office in the course of its investigations.

SCWA currently operates 241 pump stations with 593 active wells in its distribution system located throughout Suffolk County. The data that will be provided and analyzed through this partnership is generated in the SCWA’s state-of-the-art drinking water testing laboratory, which analyzes more than 75,000 samples per year for 400 different chemicals.

Photo from the DA office

Sini has made the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes a top priority of the Office. In 2018, he empaneled a Special Grand Jury to investigate these crimes, which resulted in the largest illegal dumping case in New York State history, known as “Operation Pay Dirt,” charging 30 individuals and 10 corporations in connection with a scheme to illegally dispose of solid waste and construction and demolition material at locations across Long Island.

During its second phase, the Special Grand Jury considered and made recommendations as to legislative, executive, and administrative action to address environmental crimes. In collaboration with State lawmakers, several of those recommendations were adopted and signed into law in December 2020.


Dennis Harrington alongside his wife, Maggie, after departing Mather Hospital to a clap-out with hospital staff, friends and family. Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

By Iryna Shkurhan 

Dennis Harrington, 65, of Miller Place, was battling COVID-19 as one of Mather Hospital’s long-term patients until he was discharged this week to his family and friends. 

Outside the Port Jefferson hospital on March 17, friends, family and hospital staff held a “clap-out” for him, cheering him on as he was released. 

During his 76-day stay, Harrington was intubated more than once, but ultimately survived his lengthy battle with the virus. Upon his discharge from the hospital, he was applauded as he was pushed through two lines of supporters holding thoughtful posters.

At the end of the line, an ambulance was waiting to take him to St. Charles Rehabilitation to continue his recovery. 

“I felt all the prayers and they gave me strength,” Harrington said.

Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

He has had a long and distinguished career in law enforcement. Prior to his hospitalization, he had been an investigator for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. His roles included investigating crimes in the county by gathering evidence and assisting prosecutors with finding and interviewing witnesses.

“He does tremendous work for the office to secure justice on behalf of all the residents in Suffolk County,” said District Attorney Tim Sini (D). “But this is some of his best work yet, coming out of this.” 

Sini, who has worked closely with Harrington over the years, came out to show his support for Harrington and his family, as well as for Mather Hospital itself. 

Maggie Harrington thanked the hospital doctors, nurses, administration, housekeepers, physical and occupational therapists, and also “the man upstairs” for her husband’s tumultuous recovery. “By any means this man should be dead,” she said.  

“There were some scary moments with Dennis, and we all came together as a community,” said Patricia Bonventre, a friend of the family, adding she was not surprised by the large turnout for Harrington’s release and saw many familiar faces in the crowd. 

“I didn’t think I would make it,” Harrington said. “Thank you for everything. It really kept me going.”

Four individuals were arrested this week for allegedly operating a prostitution and money laundering enterprise in Suffolk County.

According to Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini, Homeland Security Investigations and the Suffolk County Police Department began an investigation in 2018 into alleged prostitution at two massage parlors at 1442 Middle Country Road and 2661 Middle County Road in Centereach. 

JianXin You, 56, of Manhattan, Li Fang, 38, of Flushing, Guang Xu, 46, of Flushing and JinYe Wu, 35, of Brooklyn were all charged with different counts of money laundering, conspiracy and prostitution. 

“What is unique about this investigation is that historically, investigations into illicit massage parlors often result in the arrest of workers during raids,” Sini said in a statement. “What we have here is a different approach: one that gets to the root of the problem by targeting the leadership of the criminal organization behind these establishments and dismantling that enterprise from the top.”

The investigation revealed evidence that You and her associates allegedly engaged in a pattern of promoting prostitution at the locations by procuring female workers, soliciting patrons and profiting from the prostitution operation.

Additionally, the defendants allegedly laundered the criminal proceeds through various methods, including depositing cash into a business entity account in the name of New Green Aroma Spa Inc., to pay for expenses associated with the illegal operation, remitting large sums of money to other individuals’ accounts, purchasing property, and exchanging the proceeds for foreign currencies.

“This alleged criminal network made hundreds of thousands of dollars off the backs of the women they employed while putting the health of those workers and the community at risk, and deteriorating the quality of life in these neighborhoods,” Sini added. 

The search warrants at the locations resulted in the recovery of two ghost guns, which were seized from a private residence in connection with the investigation, and more than $250,000 cash.

The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today in Suffolk County First District Court.

If convicted, You, Fang and Xu each face a maximum sentence of eight and one-third to 25 years in prison. If convicted, Wu faces a maximum sentence of two and one-third to seven years in prison.