Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy abruptly announced on Thursday that he will not seek a third term as part of an agreement with prosecutors investigating Levy's campaign fundraising.
Levy, who ran unsuccessfully for governor last year, made the announcement in a press release. He also said he accepted responsibility for any problems under his watch, and turned over $4 million in campaign funds to the District Attorney Thomas Spota.
Spota said a 16-month investigation revealed serious issues with Levy's fundraising, "including the use of public resources." But Spota says he's confident Levy didn't personally profit, and decided he didn't need to resign before his term expires on December 31.
Levy, a Democrat who joined the GOP for last year's gubernatorial run, has been widely popular during his two terms, overwhelmingly winning re-election in 2007. However, advocacy groups have accused him of contributing to a hostile environment for Latinos in Suffolk, with his strong comments on illegal immigration. The county police department is the subject of a federal hate crimes probe.