Brushes with the Law

Edward Walsh, the Conservative Party’s Suffolk County chairman and a county correction lieutenant, has risen to positions of power and influence despite incidents that could have derailed his career.

Civil service and sheriff’s records from Walsh’s background check show in 1988 he tested positive for the barbiturate phenobarbital in a failed bid to work for the NYPD and was arrested in 1984 as a University of Maryland student and sentenced to 12 months’ probation for a misdemeanor sex offense. Walsh did not disclose the Maryland arrest on his application, as is required.

Walsh was arrested again on a felony criminal mischief charge in 1989, less than a year before he applied to work for the sheriff’s office. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a violation, according to the documents.

Two years ago, Suffolk County law enforcement officials raided a Medford business and discovered illegal gambling, drugs and more than two dozen people, including Walsh. Although he was not among those arrested, Walsh’s presence amid illegal activity sparked an investigation, the results of which have never been made public.

Now, Walsh, 48, is among the targets of a sheriff’s investigation into whether correction department employees stole wages by padding their salaries with hours they never worked.

In interviews with Newsday over the past six weeks, Walsh denied he had done anything wrong and blamed political enemies for trying to undermine the positive work he does for Long Island and the Conservative Party.

“It is what it is, and there’s nothing I can do about that,” Walsh said. “I go to work every day. I do my job. I’m passionate. I try to help my community. I try to make a difference in the world. That’s what I do by being in the Conservative Party.”

Click here to read the rest of the Newsday story.