John Carney and Michael Allen
From left: John Carney and Michael Allen

The ex-Town of Islip public safety commissioner, who resigned last week citing health concerns, has been accused of accepting bribes and coercing four people into refusing to accept town jobs.

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John Carney, 54, of West Islip, and Assistant Fire Chief Michael Allen, 41, of Holbrook, both surrendered to Suffolk County authorities Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to charges in a 16-count grand jury indictment.

“It is alleged in the indictment that during the interviews for the Fire Marshal openings, the four applicants were coerced by Mr. Carney and Mr. Allen into declining the position and signing declination letters,” Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said.  “That way, the defendants could attempt to reach their preferred candidates who finished lower on the civil service list after an exam.”

The charges include four felony counts of bribe receiving. The other dozen misdemeanor counts include four charges of official misconduct and eight counts of coercion.

Judge Fernando Comacho released the pair without bail. They each face up to seven years in prison if convicted of the felonies. They are due back in court Oct. 12.

Attorney and former NYPD officer Anthony D’Amico replaced Carney when Carney resigned Sept. 6.

“We thank Commissioner Carney for his 26 years of service working for the Town of Islip,” Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said in a statement last week.

Caroline Smith, a town spokeswoman, said Allen was placed on modified administrative duty.

“No organization is going to be happy to see any of their employees or former employees involved in something questionable,” Smith added. “This administration is focused on ethics reform as well as selecting the best people for the positions that we have available.”

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.