Nassau 'Wall of Shame' drops names

July 11, 2008 12:47:17 PM PDT
Just weeks after the new "Scarlet Letter" campaign posted the names and photos of 109 Memorial Day DWI offenders in Nassau County, county executive Tom Suozzi says a mistake led to the removal of the information from his Wall of Shame on the county Web site. Information on dozens people arrested for DWI since then still remain posted.

County officials initially attributed the removal of names to a lack of space, but Suozzi announced Thursday that the error was the result of a change in policy regarding teenagers charged with the crime.

Following the first week of the campaign, Suozzi said the names and photos of offenders under the age of 19 were withheld because of a state law allows a judge to grant youthful offender status to those with no prior criminal convictions.

In those cases, the record is sealed regardless of a conviction.

"When the second week went up, the first week went down," Suozzi told Newsday. "What should have happened is it should have been edited and reposted."

Officials expect the original names, minus those eligible for youthful offender status, to be reposted by Friday.

"We intend to continue to arrest anyone and everyone we catch driving while intoxicated," Suozzi told the newspaper. "But I recognized the public policy behind the state's youthful offender status."

To see the Nassau County Wall of Shame, CLICK HERE.