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.