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Ex-Nassau deputy commish William Flanagan's attorneys file motion to get appeal argument back on court calendar

Police second deputy commissioner William Flanagan, front, in

Police second deputy commissioner William Flanagan, front, in custody at the district attorney's office in Mineola. (March 1, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A state appeals court panel heard arguments from the Nassau district attorney's office this week on why a former police official's misconduct and conspiracy convictions should stand.

But the oral argument Tuesday was one-sided, after attorneys representing retired Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan didn't show up due to an apparent calendar mix-up, a court official said Friday.

Aprilanne Agostino, clerk of the court for the state Supreme Court Appellate Division in Brooklyn, said Flanagan's attorneys have filed a motion seeking to put the case back on the calendar. Prosecutors have until Friday to respond.

A spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice declined to comment Friday. Garden City attorney Donna Aldea, who represents Flanagan, also declined to comment.

The case stems from the burglary of more than $10,000 worth of electronics from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore.

Prosecutors said Flanagan was part of a trio of high-ranking police officials who played a role in preventing the arrest of burglary suspect Zachary Parker as a favor to his father, Gary Parker, a longtime donor to police causes.

Flanagan abused his authority in 2009 to get police to return the electronics stolen by Zachary Parker to the school, and Gary Parker repaid the favor with steakhouse gift cards and a state-of-the-art flashlight, according to prosecutors.

In 2013, a judge sentenced Flanagan to 60 days in jail and community service after a Nassau jury convicted him of three misdemeanors. The appellate court stayed his sentence pending appeal.

Flanagan's lawyers claim the evidence didn't support findings of guilt, and prejudicial evidence and improper arguments prevented him from getting a fair trial. They also contend that prosecutorial misconduct marred the grand jury proceedings.

Retired Nassau Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe pleaded guilty to official misconduct and a judge sentenced him to community service and a $1,000 fine in February, as his trial in the same case was about to start. In 2013, retired Nassau Deputy Chief of Patrol John Hunter pleaded guilty to official misconduct and a judge gave him 3 years of probation, community service and told him to make a training video for police recruits.

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