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Nassau Cop’s Alleged Mob Ties No Need for Probe, Pols Say

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Nassau County Police Department headquarters in Mineola.

Nassau Cop’s Alleged Mob Ties No Need for Probe, Pols Say

A New York State lawmaker urged the Nassau County Legislature to investigate allegations of corruption in the Nassau County Police Department, but the Republican-led panel said such a probe would be “inappropriate.”

State Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) sent a letter Wednesday to Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) urging the legislature to exercise its oversight of the police department after a detective was recently arrested by federal investigators for allegedly working with members of the mafia.

“The federal charges against Nassau Detective Hector Rosario and alleged Genovese and Bonanno gang members are an alarming and significant threat to the people of our county,” Lavine wrote. “Every citizen of Nassau County has reason to fear danger when our public servants, including law enforcement officers, engage in corruption. I urge our county legislature to direct its Public Safety Committee with an investigation into these troubling allegations.”

Nicolello said in a statement to the Press that he would authorize no such probe.

“It would be absolutely improper for the Legislature to insert itself into an active federal investigation,” he said. “However, if Assemblyman Lavine is so concerned with crime in New York he should consider repealing the dangerous bail reforms enacted by New York State Democrats.” 

Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach), who chairs the committee, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did a spokesman for the police department, which fired the detective after his arrest, nor Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, who is also a Republican.

Lavine responded to Nicolello’s statement by alluding to past cases of corruption in the county, which most recently included former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his wife being sentenced to prison for taking bribes and three former police commanders being convicted of covering up a burglary.

“I won’t dignify his personal attack against me with a direct response,” Lavine said. “I am a public official, not a professional wrestler. The allegation of the presence of a mob cop in the Nassau County Police Department is shocking and gravely serious. It is a real threat to public safety in a county that has suffered like few others from public corruption. It is certainly the responsibility of the Nassau County Legislature to provide oversight by conducting an investigation.”

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