Former Chief Deputy Nassau County Executive Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice
Richard “Rob” Walker Urged a County Contractor to Deny Having Paid Him $5,000
Richard “Rob” Walker, the former Chief Deputy County Executive of Nassau County, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Central Islip to obstruction of justice in connection with a federal grand jury investigation of a cash payment that Walker received from a contractor while in office. The proceeding was held before United States District Judge Joan M. Azrack. When sentenced, Walker faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the guilty plea.
“While holding public office, Walker attempted to conceal his corrupt conduct by urging a witness to lie to the grand jury,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Those who swear an oath to serve the public are expected to promote transparency, not obstruct justice. The Eastern District will hold officials accountable when they violate the public trust.” Mr. Donoghue expressed his thanks to Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division for its help during the investigation.
According to court filings and facts presented at the guilty plea proceeding, in 2014, Walker accepted a $5,000 cash payment from a contractor who was performing work for the county. In 2017, after learning that the United States Attorney’s Office had opened a grand jury investigation into potential corruption in Nassau County government, including the circumstances surrounding the $5,000 payment, Walker spoke to the contractor on several occasions, and attempted to persuade him to conceal the existence of the payment from the grand jury, or to provide a false explanation concerning the transaction, for example, as repayment of a loan. Thereafter, Walker met the contractor in a Hicksville park and handed him an envelope containing $5,000 in cash.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Artie McConnell and Catherine M. Mirabile are in charge of the prosecution.
Richard Walker (also known as “Rob Walker”)
Hicksville, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-087 (JMA)