Suffolk County's Hate Crimes Task Force chairman said he believes the committee's report may have been compromised by a leak.
Legis. DuWayne Gregory, chairman of Hate Crimes Task Force, believes his committee's report was leaked to Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy's office before the task force review it, who allegedly significantly edited the report. He has called a press conference for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to discuss his allegations in detail.
The Hate Crimes Task Force's final report was being drafted by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council within the Probation Department of the Suffolk County Police Department, according to the county's Chief Deputy Edward Dumas.
Dumas said he reviewed a draft copy of the committee's report in December 2010 to check the factual accuracy of one-third relating to Suffolk County Police Department's programs and initiatives against hate crimes. Dumas said he made no edits and requested only one recommendation - a table of contents to clearly identify to sections of the report to future readers.
The chief deputy said he and Gregory had several phone calls and exchanged e-mails about his review of the report, which have failed to resolve the legislator's concerns.
The report was sent to Gregory and other task force members for review and further review after Dumas had seen it.
The county's Hate Crimes Task Force was formed on Feb. 18, 2009, based on legislation sponsored by Gregory, D-Amityville. It was formed after the highly-publicized murder of Marcelo Lucero, a hispanic Patchogue resident, and two other Hispanics in a series of attacks. The bill states that the FBI has been reporting trends of increasing hate crimes against Latinos nationally for the past four years versus one verified hate crime in Suffolk in 2007, leading to belief hate crimes might be under reported.
The 13 committee members include two members of the Suffolk County Legislature and a representative of the Levy's office. They have held numerous public meetings from 2009 - 2010 to hear testimony from residents, which is expected to be summarized in the final report.
Patch will be attending the Tuesday morning press conference and continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.