Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke resigns amid controversy

SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. (WABC) -- Suffolk County's police chief resigned Tuesday amid controversy.

County officials said Chief James Burke turned in his resignation, which is effective in 15 days. He cited personal and family reasons for his decision.

Burke has been under federal investigation for allegations that stemmed from an incident in 2012. The man who was accused of stealing Burke's gun belt and ammunition from his department-issued vehicle parked in Burke's driveway said that following his arrest, Burke and other officers beat him while he was detained.

Burke, a more than 30-year veteran of the department, said he did absolutely nothing wrong.

Burke's attorney, Joseph Conway, released this statement Tuesday afternoon:
"Chief Burke has served the citizens of Suffolk County, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and the Suffolk County Police Department with professionalism and distinction for the past 31 years. After a stellar and courageous career, Chief Burke stepped down today and will officially retire at the end of this month for personal and family reasons. His decision to retire is unrelated to any speculation of a federal investigation. Chief Burke vehemently denies any wrongdoing whatsoever and looks forward to the next chapter in his life."

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber also issued a statement, saying Burke was an outstanding supervisor and thanked him for his many years of service.
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