Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in a Sunday morning radio interview emphasized the county’s commitment “to eradicating” the MS-13 street gang that has terrorized some Long Island communities.
“Our mission is to eradicate this criminal organization from our county,” Bellone said during an appearance on “The Cats Roundtable” on 970AM.
Bellone also used the on-air time with host John Catsimatidis to praise the work of Police Commissioner Timothy Sini, who is looking to secure the party’s nomination for Suffolk district attorney. The Suffolk County Democratic Committee is slated to hold its annual nominating convention on Monday.
Bellone repeatedly cited Sini’s work, telling Catsimatidis that his hand-picked top cop helped reestablish partnerships with federal law enforcement agencies, included the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office, that went mostly neglected under the troubled tenure of former Chief of Police James Burke.
“He has been leveraging those partnerships to effectively go after those gangs,” Bellone said of Sini, who recently announced his intent to run for the post being vacated by District Attorney Thomas Spota, who is retiring after 16 years in office.
Bellone’s praise of Sini, whom he appointed in 2015 to overhaul the scandal-plagued department, comes as Suffolk Democratic Party leaders mull over a roster of contenders interested in running for district attorney, including David Calone, a former county planning commission chairman.
Republican Ray Perini, a criminal defense attorney, is seeking the GOP nomination.
Suffolk Democratic Party Chairman Richard Schafer has said previously there is a possibility the party will not select candidates in the district attorney’s and sheriff’s races in time for the convention because Suffolk GOP chairman John Jay LaValle has approached him about the possibility of a cross-endorsement agreement.
“There are so many moving pieces, I don’t know if we can get it done by next Monday,” Schafer told Newsday last week.