On October 25,2017, a news press release announced the indictment of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota and a top deputy. The Federal grand jury described the charges of the men using their roles to cover the brutal beating of a suspect by a disgraced police chief as “shocking and appalling”. “The pair have grossly and outrageously violated their positions of trust and operated in a manner more akin to criminal enterprise than a district attorney’s office,” prosecutors said.”You can read additional information about the charges here.
Thomas Spota pictured below
The allegations pending in Federal Court against a Phoenix Police officer, Prosecutor, and private investigator mirror the claims against Thomas Spota and his top deputy. The Police Officer and investigator used their roles to instruct and participate in a wide array of crimes including various forms of assault. The prosecutor and police officer used their power and influence to obstruct investigations into rape and other violent crimes. Similar to Spota’s tactics of threatening and intimidating witnesses to prevent Federal Investigations from moving forward against the Police Chief, the Phoenix prosecutor threatened witnesses with incarceration, physical and economic harm. The men carried out their crimes under the guise of an undercover investigation and essentially served as a protection racket for employers involved in racketeering.
The indictment against Spota is encouraging because charges are rarely brought against prosecutors. For two years, the Police Officer who is operating under the name of Brian Schwartz, boasted to family and witnesses that he will “never” be held accountable for his crimes. To instill fear in witnesses to remain silent, he mentioned his ability to leverage Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey, and County Attorney Bill Montgomery to avoid prosecution for his crimes. In addition, the men had unlimited government resources, funds, and a large criminal enterprise to engage in countless fraud schemes to ensure their “undercover investigation” appear legitimate. To date, the Police Officer and Prosecutor have been successful in using false allegations of an opioid addiction and depression to obstruct criminal investigations and distract from the allegations against them. Regardless of the tactics used by the prosecutor and police officer to avoid prosecution, the indictment against Spota brings hope that even men that hold the highest office in law enforcement will be held accountable for failing to keep their oath of pursuing justice, and for violating the public trust.