Suffolk DA: Former New York State Trooper Pleads Guilty to Perjury in Connection with 2017 DWI Case

Kevin Tunney, 34, of Kings Park, pleaded guilty to Perjury in the First Degree.

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Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini has announced the guilty plea of a former New York State Trooper for committing perjury in connection with the 2017 arrest of an individual for driving while intoxicated.
Kevin Tunney, 34, of Kings Park, pleaded guilty to Perjury in the First Degree, a class D felony. Tunney, who joined the New York State Police in 2014, resigned from the department on April 30 as part of the plea agreement.
“Any time a police officer breaks the laws that he is sworn to uphold, it undermines the integrity of the entire criminal justice system,” District Attorney Sini said. “At its core, law enforcement’s job is to seek the truth in each case and to determine just outcomes based solely upon the evidence. That was not done here. My Office will continue to hold anyone who breaks the law accountable – no exceptions.”
On Nov. 1, 2017, Tunney arrested an individual in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven store located at 59 Bay Shore Road in Bay Shore and charged the individual with Driving While Intoxicated, Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, and Failure to Maintain Lane. In the arrest paperwork, Tunney stated that he was driving his police vehicle on Bay Shore Road when he observed the individual’s car driving directly in front of him. He stated that he observed the individual’s car swerve over the center double yellow line in the road twice before it abruptly made a right turn into an exit-only driveway of the 7-Eleven parking lot.
On Jan. 18, 2019, Tunney testified as a witness during a pretrial hearing in the individual’s case in First District Court in Central Islip. In his testimony, he recounted the same observations of the individual’s vehicle from the night of the arrest in November 2017.
The District Attorney’s Office subsequently reviewed surveillance footage from the 7-Eleven on the night of the arrest, which showed that Tunney was already inside the store when the individual arrived, and therefore could not have followed the individual on Bay Shore Road or observed any failure to maintain lane, as he had stated in the arrest paperwork and during his testimony in the case. The footage also showed that the individual had entered the parking lot through the appropriate entranceway, not through an exit-only driveway as Tunney testified. After a thorough investigation, which included eyewitness interviews and a review of GPS records and other relevant evidence, the grand jury returned the charges set forth in the indictment. 
This investigation was conducted by the District Attorney’s Office in collaboration with the New York State Police. As a result of this investigation, the case against the individual who had been charged with DWI was dismissed.
The District Attorney’s Office also conducted a review of all its previous prosecutions in which Tunney was a witness or potential witness and found no evidence of additional misconduct.
Tunney is scheduled to be sentenced by Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei on June 28. He is being represented by Edward Sapone.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kevin Ward and Laura de Oliveira, of the Public Integrity Bureau.