A Nassau prosecutor hammered a local police benefactor on the stand Tuesday about why he asked for a police commander's help with his son's burglary case during a chance meeting at the U.S. Open golf tournament.
Gary Parker, who Monday testified that he regularly donated large sums of money to various law enforcement groups and picked up the tab at dinners for high-ranking Nassau police officials, said Tuesday that Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan agreed to look into the matter.
Parker was subpoenaed to testify at Flanagan's trial on misconduct charges in Nassau County Court. If Flanagan is convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 4 years in prison.
During his second day on the stand, Parker testified that he ran into Flanagan, a friend, at the tournament in Bethpage in June 2008. A month earlier, his son Zachary had stolen about $10,000 worth of equipment from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore.
Parker told prosecutor Bernadette Ford he sought Flanagan's advice on how to get the equipment returned to the school, something he believed would sway school officials not to press charges against his son. Flanagan agreed to look into the matter, Parker said Tuesday.
A few months later, after several email exchanges, Flanagan told Parker it was done. Parker shot back, "THANK YOU!!!!!!"
And Flanagan responded, "de nada family," according to texts entered into the court record.
The next day, Parker testified, his wife delivered two $100 gift cards from Morton's Steakhouse to Flanagan, along with a state-of-the-art flashlight. Flanagan acknowledged receipt of them in an email, calling the gesture "[O]ver the top," according to evidence.
Parker also acknowledged that when a Long Island Press story alleging he had pulled strings so police wouldn't pursue his son's case was published in March 2011, he destroyed all the past emails on the hard drive of his work computer.
"It was probably morally the wrong thing to do," he said.