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Civil Asset Forfeiture Corruption in NY

Suffolk County prosecutors accepted “bonuses” paid out of civil asset forfeiture proceeds:

Bonus recipients included deputy chief homicide prosecutor Robert Biancavilla, who received a total of $108,886 between 2012 and 2017, and division chief Edward Heilig and top public corruption prosecutor Christopher McPartland, who each received $73,000, according to records obtained from county Comptroller John Kennedy’s office through the Freedom of Information Law

Meanwhile, the former elected District Attorney, Thomas Spota, has been charged in the cover-up of the beating of a suspect by the a former police chief who was convicted in the assault.  One Suffolk County legislator has proposed having a more independent group determine whether seized money could be spent on bonuses.  That’s a good start.  Better would be protections against civil asset forfeiture in the first place by requiring a guilty verdict and proof that the funds being seized compensate the state (or victim) for the loss they incurred.

As it stands, civil asset forfeiture as a policy is rife with abuses that need to be corrected.

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