Retired Suffolk lieutenant kept meticulous calendars of Spota, McPartland conversations
Monday was the second day of testimony from the government's key witness in the obstruction of justice trial of former Suffolk district attorney Tom Spota and his chief investigator.
Retired Suffolk Lt. James Hickey is the government's only witness who is testifying to having direct conversations and one-on-one meetings with Spota and Christopher McPartland about the alleged cover-up of James Burke's beating Christopher Loeb.
Hickey testified he was part of the "inner circle" with Burke, McPartland and Spota and mentioned a number of events. He said he let Spota borrow his suit jacket for the 2015 police ceremony in which Burke presented McPartland with the first and only Thomas J. Spota award.
Hickey testified he was threatened and that Spota, "Told me that someone's talking and I better find out fast." He said McPartland "Told me to give my guys a one-on-one Lt. Hickey interrogation and find out who's talking and we will take immediate steps to discredit them."
The prosecution showed the jurors meticulous calendars that Hickey kept from 2013 to 2015 in which he made notes of the conversations and meetings he had.
During opening statements, the defense had tried to discredit Hickey as an alcoholic with memory problems, but the calendars paint a different picture of a meticulous person.
During cross-examination, McPartland's attorney hammered Hickey, asking him to remember specific dates about when he met with his doctors and what he told the government and when.
Several times, Hickey answered that he couldn't recall specfic details about his hospitalization for hallucinations and the defense questioned his memory. At one point, things got so heated that the prosecutor stood up and said "Your honor, can we keep the volume down please?"
Hickey admitted that he hopes to get less federal prison time for his role in the cover-up by testifying against Spota and McPartland.