Former Nassau County Chief Deputy County Executive Indicted For Obstruction of Justice and Lying to the FBI
Richard “Rob” Walker Attempted to Obstruct a Federal Grand Jury Investigation Into Payment from a County Contractor and then Lied to Investigators
Earlier today, a two-count indictment was unsealed in federal court in Central Islip, New York, charging Richard “Rob” Walker, the former Chief Deputy County Executive under Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, with obstruction of justice and making false statements. Walker’s arraignment on the indictment will take place at 12:00 p.m. this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields in Courtroom 830.
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 charges.
“As alleged in the indictment, the defendant Walker, while holding public office, attempted to obstruct a grand jury investigation and then lied to the FBI,” stated U.S. Attorney Donoghue. “Lying and obstructing justice by those who are sworn to serve the public will never be tolerated. This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, is committed to holding officials who violate the public trust accountable for such crimes.” Mr. Donoghue expressed his thanks to Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation for its help during the investigation.
“As alleged, Rob Walker, while serving as a public official, accepted money from a contractor who was performing work for Nassau County. When he found out the FBI was hot on his trail, he tried to cover up his corrupt behavior, even going so far as to attempt to convince the contractor to lie to a grand jury,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “Walker and others who engage in similar schemes are reminded today that there’s no way to undo what’s already been done.”
As alleged in the indictment and other court papers, in 2014, the defendant, who was the Chief Deputy Nassau County Executive at the time, accepted a $5,000 cash payment from a Nassau County contractor who was performing work for Nassau County pursuant to a county contract. In 2017, once the defendant learned that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the FBI had opened a grand jury investigation of potential corruption in Nassau County government, including the circumstances surrounding the $5,000 payment made by the contractor to the defendant, the defendant spoke with the contractor on several occasions in an attempt to convince the contractor to conceal the existence of the $5,000 payment from the grand jury. Further, the defendant urged the contractor to provide a false explanation to the grand jury concerning the reasons for the payment. Finally, the defendant arranged to meet the contractor in a park in Hicksville, New York in order to return the $5,000. The FBI surveilled the meeting, and at that meeting, the defendant gave the contractor an envelope containing $5,000, which was then turned over to law enforcement. Thereafter, the defendant, when interviewed by the FBI concerning the payment, denied ever having received any cash payments from the contractor.
The charges announced today are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Catherine M. Mirabile, Raymond A. Tierney and Lara Treinis Gatz 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)