Opening statements in the federal corruption trial of Suffolk County Conservative Chairman Edward Walsh began this morning in Central Islip. Walsh is accused of stealing over $200,000 by lying on timesheets, while he worked as a lieutenant for the Suffolk County Correctional System.
In their opening statements, the two sides painted conflicting portraits of Walsh. Federal prosecutor Catherine Mirabile said Walsh was a “thief” who “systematically stole from taxpayers for over three years by golfing and gambling his way to a huge pension.
Defense attorney William Wexler disagreed. He said Walsh “was paid for every hour that he worked,” and that Walsh’s job was to attend functions on behalf of Sheriff Vincent DeMarco. Wexler called the prosecution's argument “nonsense.”
If convicted, Walsh could face up to 10 years in prison.