Thomas Spota
Thomas Spota ()

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, whose office is reportedly under federal investigation for possible corruption, has announced he will not seek re-election in November.

In a statement sent by his office May 12, Spota said it was time to retire and spend “quality time” with his family. He made no mention of the federal scrutiny.

“This is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made,” wrote Spota, 75, adding, “I’ll be leaving an office of truly wonderful, talented and dedicated professionals.”

“The deciding factor though,” he continued, “is that life is too short (especially at my age) and it’s time to spend quality time with my wife, children and grandchildren (with two more on the way!).”

Spota, a Democrat, came into office in 2002 pledging to target corruption. He is the longest-serving district attorney in county history and would have been seeking a fifth term.

Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone issued a statement May 12 saying Spota’s decision to retire was “long overdue” and is “the first step in restoring integrity to the District Attorney’s office.”

Also on May 12, Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini announced he would run to fill Spota’s seat, according to news reports. The position pays about $194,000 annually.

Spota is allegedly under investigation for his role in a department cover up involving former Suffolk Police Chief James Burke, who was sentenced in November to nearly four years in federal prison for beating a handcuffed man who stole personal items from his department SUV.

Also, an article in The New York Times in June said investigators were examining several cases to see whether political considerations had wrongly affected decisions by Spota’s office.