January 7, 2015

Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Edward Walsh Charged with Scheme to Defraud the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office

Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Edward M. Walsh, Jr. was arrested today on charges that he engaged in a scheme to steal wages for regular and overtime hours in connection with his employment with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office (“SCSO”). He was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson at the federal courthouse in Central Islip.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).

As alleged in the criminal complaint unsealed today, from January 2011 to April 2014, Walsh, a SCSO Correction Officer III Investigator, falsely represented to the SCSO that he had worked certain regular and overtime hours when, in fact, he did not. Contrary to his representations, Walsh was, among other things, playing golf, gambling at Foxwoods Casino, or performing work on behalf of the Suffolk County Conservative Party. In reliance on Walsh’s false representations, the SCSO paid Walsh approximately $80,000 in wages for regular and overtime hours he did not work. To conceal his scheme, Walsh allegedly lied to FBI agents, claiming that he worked flex time or was on the telephone regarding his work at the SCSO even while at the golf course.

“Instead of upholding the law, Edward Walsh abused his position and authority and robbed from taxpayers to fund his personal and political activities,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We and our partners in the FBI will continue to root out government fraud wherever we find it.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Venizelos stated, “Mr. Walsh shook down county government for hours he never worked. In reality, he was often on the ninth hole practicing his putting, among other things. Mr. Walsh today finds himself in serious trouble with the law for allegedly defrauding Suffolk County.”

The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Catherine M. Mirabile and Raymond A. Tierney.

The Defendant:

Age: 48
East Islip, New York