YAPHANK, N.Y. (AP) — A former suburban New York police chief who orchestrated a department cover-up after beating a handcuffed man for stealing embarrassing items from his SUV has been released from a federal prison.

Newsday says former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke was transferred to a halfway house on Friday. He'll be released from federal custody next April.

In 2012, he pummeled a heroin addict who had taken his gun belt, ammunition, cigars and a bag of sex toys and pornography. In February, the county said it agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a federal lawsuit brought by the addict.

The case led to the federal indictment of former Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, who has pleaded not guilty to obstruction and other charges involving the investigation of Burke.

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Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com