Mineola - (WALK) The search for the next, official Nassu County police commisoner will conducted from outside the ranks of the NCPD, according to County Executive Edward Mangano.
Former Commissioner Thomas V. Dale stepped aside suddenly Thursday, following a district attorney's report confirming his order to arrest and intimidate an election-worker employed by Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick, an aspiring candidate for county executive in 2012.
County Executive Mangano reportedly met with Dale and ordered him to resign Thursday. Mangano then appointed Deputy County Executive for Public Safety Victor Politi to serve as acting police commissioner.
"District Attorney (Kathleen) Rice today brought a troubling matter to my attention regarding questionable influence within the Nassau County Police Department," said Mangano in a statement.
In her report, Rice said Dale directed NCPD officers to pull over a bus and arrest Hardwick campaign worker Randy White, 29, of Roosevelt in October 2012. At the time White was employed to collect petition signatures needed to place Hardwick on the Democratic ballot in November.
White testified he was paid $1.25 per signature, an illegal practice as petitioners can only be paid by the hour. Hardwick denied the claim. Hardwick supporter and owner of the Oheka Castle facility, Gary Melius, called Commissioner Dale and said the Hardwick campaign wanted White charged with perjury, according to the DA's report.
First Precicnt police declined to charge White with perjury, but investigators found he had an outstanding warrant for failing to pay a $250 fine for selling counterfeit DVD's. Commissioner Dale ordered White to be arrested on the outstanding warrent, according to the report.
DA Kathleen Rice said Dale broke no laws, and would not be prosecuted, despite his poor decision to involve high-level police employees in a low-level criminal allegation, behavior "potentially fraught with peril," she said.
Melius reportedly regrets the result of his action, while others, including Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs told reporters Dale should be prosecuted for essentially taking the politically-motivated order of a private citizen to have another citizen arrested.
County executive Mangano also replaced NCPD Chief of Detectives John Capece Thursday with Narcotics/Vice Squad Inspector Kevin Smith, a 30-year NCPD veteran. Capece reportedly resigned when told he would be demoted. A police sergeant involved in the case retired in November.
Dale took office as Nassau Police Commissioner in January of 2012 after serving 40 years in the NYPD.
Photo: Nassau County Police