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New Suffolk Co. Exec. talks about serial killer

December 21, 2011 3:19:06 PM PST
The incoming Suffolk County Executive says that he's cleaning house in the police department because of what he calls dysfunctional leadership.

That's the word from Suffolk County Executive-elect Steve Bellone.

Bellone says he's been astonished at the public bickering sparked by the police commissioner's claim that just 1 killer is responsible for the murders at Oak and Gilgo Beaches.

"When we have the highest profile case the department's had to deal with in years, maybe ever, and it's not being handled the way it needs to be handled that indicates a much deeper problem," said Steve Bellone, the Suffolk County Executive-elect.

Suffolk County Executive-elect Steve Bellone says he's been astonished to witness the public dispute the county's two top law enforcement officers: outgoing Police Commissioner Richard Dormer, who told Eyewitness News the 10 Ocean Parkway bodies were the victims of a single killer, and DA Tom Spota who issued a stern rebuke Wednesday.

"We all have theories of how something occurred. But we don't advance those theories publicly," Spota said.

Spota says Dormer's own detectives disagree with their boss, and believe, as Spota does, that the bodies could have been dumped by two, or even three separate killers.

"Believe me, I am well aware of the fact that matters like this shouldn't be discussed publicly, but I just felt I couldn't let the police commissioner say what he was saying. Many theories and they didn't make sense to me," Spota said.

For Bellone, who's been supervisor of the town where the crime scene lies, it's just the latest reason to clean house at police headquarters.

It's lately buffeted not just by the beach bodies case, but also by an ongoing federal investigation into its policy on hate crimes.

"When you couple that with the fact that the police department is still under justice department investigation, it starts to paint a picture of a problem in the department that is systemic, rather than just an isolated example. So it concerns me as I'm about to take office," Bellone said.

Starting the first of the year, Dormer and several top deputies will be out.

Temporarily taking his place will be Chief Edward Webber, a 40-year veteran, who will hold down the fort while Bellone searches the country for a commissioner, who he says will stabilize a department that's taken quite a beating.

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