MINEOLA - A former top Nassau police official pleaded guilty today to his role in a scandal that rocked the department.

Retired Nassau County Deputy Patrol Chief John Hunter, a 35-year veteran of the force, pleaded guilty today to official misconduct and conspiracy stemming from a 2009 police cover-up.

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Hunter, former Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan and Detective Squad Supervisor Alan Sharp had been accused of trying to cover up a theft. Prosecutors say Zachary Parker stole high-priced audio equipment from his alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School, in 2009. Parker's father, a police benefactor, asked that police just return the stolen items.

The Nassau County District Attorney's Office says the men involved received payoffs, like steakhouse gift cards.

Flanagan was found guilty of conspiracy and misconduct, while Sharp is still awaiting trial.

Hunter avoided further scrutiny by taking a plea deal and will begin serving his sentence of three years probation, 500 hours of community service and participation in a law enforcement training video.