Exclusive: Suozzi Sued

It’s enough to spoil a campaign ad debut.

The Nassau County police union filed a federal lawsuit against Tom Suozzi today, claiming “misconduct and abuse of authority” and seeking cash damages. It’s the latest chapter of their running war over issues including compensation for members of union leadership (this being the other side of the balanced budget he touts).

The suit could seems aimed at doing maximum political damage to Suozzi because of the claims it makes about mixing politics and government. The police union leaders allege that he linked union leaders’ off-duty payment with their endorsing him — and then retailed against them when they opposed him for reelection.

Here’s an excerpt from the plaintiffs’ filing (.pdf), which details meetings and conversations between Suozzi and the cops:

Privately, Suozzi went further: he tasked various political operatives to quietly qpproach the Plaintiffs, and particularly [union leader] Dela Raba, to discuss the possibility of a Union endorsement for his reelection effort. In those discussions, emissaries of Suozzi, including Deputy County Executive Cancellieri and Director of Labor Relations Green, reminded Dela Raba, more than once, that Suozzi had not challenged the Off-Duty Supplement, suggesting that Suozzi’s decision to let the award stand was a political favor for which Plaintiffs (and by extension the Union) should be grateful.