CENTRAL ISLIP, Suffolk County (WABC) -- A well-known Suffolk County doctor and legislator has been arrested for allegedly attempting to exchange oxycodone for sex with a woman he believed was a prostitute.
Dr. William Spencer, 53, of Centerport, was taken into custody in a parking lot Tuesday afternoon and is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.
"The message here is that the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office will continue to work in partnership with all of the law enforcement agencies operating here on Long Island, including the DEA and members of the Long Island Heroin Task Force, to hold criminals accountable no matter who they are or what their walk of life is," District Attorney Tim Sini said. "This investigation is very much ongoing, and justice will be served in this case."
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Pursuant to an investigation by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and the DEA Long Island Heroin Task Force, Dr. Spencer was contacted by an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute on October 20.
Dr. Spencer allegedly agreed via text message to unlawfully provide the undercover police officer with oxycodone pills.
Authorities say he was arrested at the arranged meeting location in his county-issued vehicle and was found in possession of two oxycodone pills.
"The allegations being made against Legislator William Spencer are extremely serious," Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer Rob Calarco said in a statement. "We have very little information, and at this time, I will not be making any further statement. Our thoughts are with his wife and children during this difficult time."
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If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum sentence of up to nine years in prison.
"Spencer is a stellar legislator who has had the right approach on serious issues," Suffolk Democratic Committee Chairman Rich Schaffer said. "I've always known him, and I think everybody in the community knows him, to be a very upstanding medical doctor, minister, legislator and person."
Spencer has served as a Suffolk County legislator since January 2012 and represents Suffolk County's 18 Legislative District. He is also a physician who currently serves in Huntington Hospital and has his own private medical practice on East Carver Street in Huntington.
Officials said Wednesday that Dr. Spencer's privileges at Huntington Hospital have been temporarily suspended pending the investigation, and he no longer serves as the Chief of Otolaryngology.
"An astounding betrayal of trust," Suffolk County GOP Chair Jesse Garcia said. "This alleged act was an attempt to abuse his position of power and trust, prey on women and take advantage of those he believed were prisoners of addiction. I hope Dr. Spencer receives the help he needs. Our prayers are with his family during this difficult time."
He was released on his own recognizance.
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