Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini took the oath of office to begin his tenure as District Attorney at an inaugural ceremony on January 2, 2018 in the Van Nostrand Theater at Suffolk County Community College’s Michael J. Grant campus in Brentwood, N.Y.
Sini was joined by his wife Amanda and their three children as he was sworn in on his family’s Bible by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
“Today marks the moment that together, we usher in a new era of criminal justice in Suffolk County – one that ensures public safety, champions the law, and promotes public trust and faith in our law enforcement agencies,” District Attorney Sini said. “Our goal is a simple one, and that is to make the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office the best it can be. … We will have a culture where we are tough but fair, where we view our legal and ethical obligations as a way of life and not as burdens, and where we simply do the right thing in each and every case, every task, and every moment that we are fortunate enough to serve the people of Suffolk County.”
“Part of doing the right thing is to ensure that we create and implement a culture of compliance with all of our legal and ethical obligations, particularly our Brady obligations – the solemn duty to disclose information that is favorable to the defense. Brady is designed to help us. It is not a burden. It is a rule that allows us do our jobs, because our job is to seek out the truth and ensure a fair process for the people and the accused. … It advances the truth, a fair system and ultimately leads to justice being served,” Sini said.
Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone served as the Master of Ceremonies for the inauguration, which was attended by more than 500 people.
District Attorney Sini was joined on stage by several members of his administration, including Chief of Staff Justin S. Meyers, Chief Assistant William T. Ferris III, incoming Division Chief Tad Scharfenberg, incoming Division Chief Megan O’Donnell, and Acting Suffolk County Police Commissioner John W. Barry, who will be joining the District Attorney’s office as Chief Investigator once a new police commissioner is appointed.
The ceremony opened with a performance by the Suffolk County Police Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band followed by a rendition of the National Anthem by the Central Islip High School Concert Choir. Members of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Fourth Precinct Explorers program presented the colors while U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mervin Leonor led attendees in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Brentwood High School student Marilyn Parada sang “God Bless America” to close the program.
Prayers were offered by Rev. Dr. Keith Hayward of Bethel A.M.E. in Copiague; Pastor Mike Jankowski of The Harbor Church; Father Alex Karloutsos of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons; and Father Steve J. Peterson of Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church, under whom Sini served as an altar boy during his childhood.
“We are going to implement a structure and a team so that we are able to address the public safety challenges of our time,” District Attorney Sini said. “We are going to be on the cutting edge of stemming the tide of the drug epidemic. We are going to adopt policies that better incentivize treatment for those who are suffering from drug addiction, while treating drug dealers who peddle poison for profit like murderers whenever the law and evidence permit it. We are going to proactively target MS-13 and other violent street gangs through our newly created Gang Unit, and work collaboratively with all of our law enforcement partners at the local, state and federal level. We are once again going to be on the cutting edge of environmental crime to deter the illegal dumping that occurs here in beautiful Suffolk County. We are going to protect workers from exploitation by greedy profiteers and enforce the County and State laws that are designed to protect our workforce. We are going to protect our witnesses and victims, and do everything in our power to make Suffolk County a safer place to live, work and raise a family.”
“Every place [District Attorney Sini] has gone, he excelled,” Sen. Schumer said. “But he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth; he’s not one of these people who thinks he hit a home run because he was born on third base. He came up the old fashioned way, working hard every step of the way. He got to this position the old fashioned way: he earned it. It’s a great day for Suffolk County because we have one of our best focusing on keeping us safe. … Not someone who puts other things first, but someone of the highest ethical standard, someone who is brilliant and dedicated and knows how to work with people.”
“Tim Sini will meet the challenges ahead with a tireless work ethic, a commitment to excellence, and a core set of convictions founded in faith and family,” Suffolk County Executive Bellone said. “Confronted with difficult choices, he will gather information, seek council, consider all options, and make the best decision possible, guided always by what is right and what is just.”
“[District Attorney Sini] took the helm of the police department in the wake of scandal … and people quickly began to see what I had seen: this man leads. He puts the best people in leadership positions — individuals defined by character and integrity. He listened, he learned and he launched groundbreaking new initiatives that helped drive crime down to the lowest level in recorded history. And now as he assumes the office of the District Attorney in the wake of scandal, it’s not just me who knows what he will do; it is all of you. It is the people of Suffolk County who overwhelmingly elected him. [District Attorney Sini] will reform this office, usher in a new era of law enforcement in this county that will have a profound impact on public safety and the ability of this government to reach its full potential,” Bellone said.
“…Tim was indoctrinated with all of the great principles, ethics, integrity and morality deeply rooted in the traditions of [the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York],” David N. Kelley, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said. “His tenure of Suffolk County Police Commissioner only confirms that. Tim is not just a fine lawyer gifted with a strong sense of integrity, but he simply is a wonderful human being who is worthy of trust the people in this county have placed in him, and that includes me.”
“To the office: this is a new day,” District Attorney Sini said. “A day where you can be hopeful and excited for the future. I promise that I will do my best to empower you to do great things. You have the talent, and now you have a loyal leader. Together, we are going to create something that we will proud of for the rest of our lives.”