Ed Walsh Trial: Conservative Chairman Paid $200K Without Showing Up, FBI Says

Ed Walsh Trial
Ed Walsh leaving court on Monday, March 21, 2016. (Timothy Bolger/Long Island Press)

Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh stole more than $200,000 in salary he collected for hours he didn’t work in his job as a former correction lieutenant, an FBI agent testified.

FBI Agent Ken Hosey told prosecutors during direct examination Thursday at Central Islip federal court that he tallied the dollar amount by comparing Walsh’s work time sheets with records subpoenaed from golf courses, Foxwoods Casino, the Conservative Party, banks and cell phone data suggesting Walsh was in locations other than the county jails in Riverhead and Yaphank.

“There were no overtime slips that I saw that indicated that he worked his hours in his entirety,” Hosey told the court. He estimated that he had poured over 10,000 pages of documents during the investigation. In total, Walsh was paid for more than 1,500 hours of regular time and 1,000 hours of overtime that he didn’t work, Hosey testified.

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Federal prosecutors charged Walsh with theft and wire fraud for allegedly being paid for hours when he was golfing, gambling and politicking between 2011 and 2014. Attorneys for Walsh, who retired shortly before the trial began so he could collect his pension, have argued that he was free to come and go as he pleased and make up the hours later.

Prosecutors had Hosey, who’s assigned to the FBI’s Melville office, demonstrate how he did his math by going over some of the time sheets and comparing them to other records indicating that Walsh was in places other than work during times the correction lieutenant was on the clock. In many cases, Walsh appeared to show up late and leave early. Other records suggested that Walsh never showed up at all—including some days he put in for overtime.

Walsh worked a Monday-through-Friday shift, which rotated between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 2 to 10 p.m., depending upon the week. Some evidence showed he was making deposits or withdrawals at a bank near his East Islip home when he was supposed to be at work. Hosey said he counted more than 160 instances in which Walsh was at the Hampton Hills Golf Course while he was still on the clock.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Leonard Lato asked Hosey if he knew that the time stamps could have been wrong on the golf cart rental receipts in Walsh’s name, since sometimes there is a lag in entering the records. Lato also asked if it’s possible that Walsh was at work and just not using his cell phone on days when there’s no record that the party chairman’s cell phone pinged a cell tower near the jail. Hosey conceded that he didn’t acquire Walsh’s office phone records during the investigation to see if the ex-lieutenant used his landline instead of his cell phone.

The cross-examination is scheduled to continue Monday. Hosey is the prosecution’s last witness. Once he’s done, the defense will present their witnesses. Judge Arthur Spatt estimated that after the testimony and closing arguments conclude, the jury could begin deliberating as early as next Friday.