Residents of Nassau County are expected to follow the law, or risk arrest and conviction. Those who enforce the law are supposed to follow the rules, too. Laws exist to restrict the ability of the police to abuse their authority, through random searches and other things forbidden by the Bill of Rights. This helps try to maintain a balance between the power of the government and our right to a criminal defense.
Any report of police misconduct is troubling, including one involving a former member of the Nassau Police Department. He has admitted spending large portions of his time on duty at the homes of two women. The former officer recently pleaded guilty to 75 counts of official misconduct.
The plea bargain included the dismissal of 29 felony charges, which might have involved prison time. The ex-officer, who resigned while under investigation, will forfeit $195,000 in termination pay, pay $3,700 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community services.
In pleading guilty, the defendant admitted that between June 2010 and February 2011, he spent time at the homes of two different women while on duty. The women are described as his mistresses by Newsday. At times, he would receive emergency calls about possible domestic disturbances and cardiac arrest, but fail to respond. He reportedly spent six hours at one of the homes during at least one shift.
The officer apparently covered up his actions by lying and falsifying data on his police computer. Though he was not charged with any other form of misconduct, one cannot help but wonder if this officer ever violated a suspect’s rights in his efforts to avoid doing his job properly.