After Kings (which, of course, is Brooklyn), Queens and New York (Manhattan), the state’s fourth-most populous county, larger than the Bronx, is Suffolk on the east half of Long Island. The incumbent district attorney there, Tim Sini, has proven in his first term to be a crackerjack prosecutor with the judgment to push back firmly on New York’s most naïve criminal justice reforms. The Daily News proudly endorses Sini for reelection.
Sini — who early in his career impressed then-boss Preet Bharara prosecuting federal criminal cases in the Southern District of New York — arrived on the Suffolk political scene in early 2016, tapped as police commissioner and tasked to clean up a department disgraced by outgoing police chief James Burke, who went to prison for assaulting a handcuffed suspect and then covering it up. Sini did the job, helping drive down crime while restoring public confidence in the 2,500-officer department.
After the cleanup on Aisle 9, it was onto a spill in Aisle 10, the district attorney’s office. Incumbent Tom Spota was on his way to five years in prison for intimidating witnesses, obstructing justice and otherwise perverting the law to protect Burke. In 2017, Democrat Sini won election handily in the pro-Trump county. Then he spearheaded sweeping prosecutions of MS-13, drug dealers and human traffickers without giving short shift to necessary reforms delivering treatment to those struggling with addiction and vindicating the wrongfully incarcerated.
He’s been a wise and outspoken critic of state bail reforms, which in 2019 in these pages he correctly called “a dangerous mistake,” instead urging “a meaningful detention option for those who pose a physical safety threat to others.”
The GOP challenger, Ray Tierney, tries to smear Sini by incoherently calling him both a puppet of the old corrupt Suffolk guard and a tool of zealots who would irresponsibly empty jails and prisons.
Ridiculous. Sini, a model prosecutor, is tough when necessary but careful in wielding his power. Reelect him.