Smithtown - (WALK) Federal agents on Long Island are reportedly investigating allegations of misconduct by Suffolk Chief of Department James Burke. Burke is accused of violating the civil rights of a robbery suspect by punching the man at a Suffolk police precinct house.
The robbery suspect, Christopher Loeb, 26, of Smithtown, is accused of stealing a gun belt, ammunition, and other items from Burke's personal police vehicle in December, 2012. Members of Loeb's family say Burke, 48 (pictured), confronted Loeb at the SCPD 4th Precinct squad room, and punched him.
The F.B.I. served subpoenas on several Suffolk police officers, detectives and other personnel who may have information about the case, according to a source not identified by Newsday. Burke denies allegations of wrongdoing. Suffolk officials promise to cooperate with federal investigators.
Prosecutors say Loeb and a 36 year old Lindenhurst man stole a bag containing Burk's gun belt, ammunition, handcuffs, cigars, and other personal items from Burke's department-issued GMC Yukon SUV shortly after midnight on December 14.
Loeb was indicted in December on charges including larceny, possession of stolen property, drugs possession, and criminal possession of a weapon. He was held on $500,000 bond.
Loeb is scheduled to appear in court July 9 to face charges related to numerous vehicle break-ins in St. James.
Burke joined the SCPD as an officer in 1986, and was appointed chief of department in January 2012.