A federal grand jury has indicted Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Edward Walsh on two new criminal charges for allegedly stealing about $80,000 in wages from the county sheriff’s office, authorities said.
Walsh, who pleaded not guilty at Central Islip federal court in January to an initial charge of scheme to defraud following his arrest, is now facing counts of wire fraud and theft of funds, according to the indictment.
Walsh “falsely represented to the [Suffolk County Sheriff’s office] that he had worked certain regular and overtime hours when, in fact, he did not work those hours,” the indictment states.
A representative of Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said the court has not yet scheduled a date for Walsh to be arraigned on the new charges. He is expected to appear in court this month.
Prosecutors previously said that the 48-year-old East Islip man, who is a lieutenant at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office, was on the clock while golfing, gambling at Foxwoods Casino, or performing work on behalf of the Conservative Party between 2011 and 2014.
Walsh also allegedly lied to FBI agents by claiming that he worked flex time or was on the telephone regarding his work at the Sheriff’s office even while at the golf course, according to investigators.
Walsh’s boss, Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, who was elected to his position on the Conservative Party line, referred the findings of an internal investigation to the FBI, the sheriff said. He has called the allegations a “violation of the public trust” that is “inexcusable.”
Walsh’s Babylon-based attorney, William Wexler, said his client will plead not guilty to the new charges as well.
“We vigorously deny it and believe that it is wrongheaded,” he said.
While the arrest has shaken up the political world on eastern Long Island, the New York State Conservative Party leadership has said that it is standing by Walsh, who leads the largest Conservative Party chapter statewide.