Long Island Press Investigation Leads to Indictment of Local Police Officials

Three former officials of the Nassau County Police Department have been indicted on multiple corruption charges as the result of an investigation by the Long Island Press.

The paper’s investigative work was so consequential that The New York Times gave a rare outbound link in its account of the indictment:

The Nassau County district attorney, Kathleen Rice, said the charges stemmed from an investigation that began after a March 2011 article in The Long Island Press about a burglary at John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore on May 19, 2009. The article focused on the special status given to contributors to the police foundation, who were given photo ID cards that critics suggested were a way for them to get preferential treatment if ever stopped by the police.

“Several thousand dollars worth of computer equipment was stolen from a local high school,” explained editor Michael Patrick Nelson. “[Our story] exposed how the subsequent criminal investigation was squashed due to the alleged perpetrator being the son of a wealthy police department donor.”

The three accused ex-officers (two of which resigned last week) face charges of official misconduct and conspiracy. The department’s former third-highest ranking official has been charged with felony misconduct.

The piece that started it all – “Membership Has Its Privileges: Is Nassau County Police Department Selling Preferential Treatment?” – was the first installment of a five-part investigative series by Shelly Feuer Domash and Christopher Twarowski into the department’s relationship with the nonprofit Nassau County Police Department Foundation.