DA resigns after he's charged in sex-toy beatdown coverup

Longtime Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota and one

Thomas Spota, Suffolk County District Attorney, is stepping down after federal prosecutors charged him yesterday with obstruction of justice and witness tampering during the federal investigation of an assault by the former county policy chief. According to the indictment, Spota and McPartland took part in the cover-up of Burke's beating of Christopher Loeb, who stole a duffel bag out of Burke's auto containing his service revolver, sex toys, and pornography.

Last year, Burke was sentenced to almost four years in prison for orchestrating a department cover-up after beating a handcuffed man for stealing embarrassing items from his department-issued SUV. The prosecutors are slated to be arraigned in Central Islip federal court later this afternoon.

The aide - chief of the district attorney's anti-corruption bureau, Christopher McPartlan - was also indicted.

Both officials are being charged with conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and obstruct an official proceeding, witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding, obstruction of justice, and accessory after the fact to the deprivation of civil rights.

Both men were released on $500,000 bond, and a judge restricted their travel to the continental United States.

Spota, 76, and Christopher McPartland, 51, the head of the district attorney's political corruption unit, were taken into custody by the FBI Wednesday. The suspect, who was later convicted by a special prosecutor, was accused of stealing a duffel bag in Burke's vehicle that contained cigars, sex toys and pornographic DVDs.

Spota, a Democrat, was elected 16 years ago and is not running for re-election. Unnamed co-conspirators had warned some that if they admitted wrongdoing, their union would not pay their legal fees, prosecutors said.

A spokesman for the district attorney's office had no comment.

Spota and McPartland were accused of using their positions to pressure witnesses to keep them from cooperating in the beating investigation.

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