MINEOLA - Three former members of the Nassau County Police Department pleaded not guilty today to a slew of criminal charges, including official misconduct and conspiracy.
The indictment in the case was unsealed this morning and charged former Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan, 54, of Islip, with receiving reward for official misconduct, two counts of official misconduct, and conspiracy in the sixth degree. Flanagan faces up to four years in prison if convicted. He submitted his resignation yesterday, nine days before his scheduled retirement.
In addition, former Deputy Chief Inspector John Hunter, 59, of Oyster Bay, has been charged with two counts of official misconduct and conspiracy in the sixth degree. Hunter faces up to one year if convicted. Hunter also submitted his resignation Feb. 29.
Retired Detective Sgt. Alan Sharpe, 54, of Huntington Station, has also been charged with offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree, two counts of official misconduct, and conspiracy in the sixth degree. Sharpe faces up to two years if convicted. He retired Jan. 5.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice says the three officials intentionally prevented the arrest of Merrick teen Zachary Parker, who was accused of stealing $10,000 worth of computers from JFK High School in Bellmore in 2009.
Prosecutors say Parker's father, Gary Parker, donated money to the police and frequently wined and dined top officials, including Hunter and Flanagan. When his son got in trouble, Rice says the father went to police for help.
Gary Parker allegedly wrote numerous emails to the top brass, directing them what to do. The indictment says he requested that Hunter and Sharpe "lay low" on the criminal investigation, and Hunter wrote back that he would "make sure that is done."
The indictment also claims that once the investigation was closed, Parker's father sent Flanagan gift cards - a gesture that Flanagan called "over the top."
All three police officials were released without bail. They are due back in court May 22.
For a press conference on the indictment of the three former Nassau police officials, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612. Click to read the full text of the grand jury indictment
2 Nassau PD officials resign ahead of expected indicments