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NY top court to hear appeal by ex-Nassau deputy police commissioner

Former Nassau County police officer William Flanagan on

Former Nassau County police officer William Flanagan on Feb. 15, 2013 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

ALBANY

New York’s top court will hear an appeal by William Flanagan, a former top-ranking Nassau County cop who wants to overturn his conviction in an alleged high school burglary cover-up.

The Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments for Flanagan and the Nassau County district attorney’s office for Thursday in Albany.

Flanagan was at the center of a 2009 case involving the theft of more than $10,000 in electronics equipment from John F. Kennedy High School.

Flanagan, the department’s former second deputy commissioner, was convicted on misdemeanor charges of conspiracy, malfeasance and nonfeasance for trying to quash the arrest of Zachary Parker, then a high school student, as a favor to his father, Gary Parker, a wealthy partner in a Manhattan accounting firm and a longtime donor to police causes.

Prosecutors also had alleged that Flanagan misused his authority by trying to get police to return the stolen equipment in a bid to get the school to drop the charges. Flanagan was convicted after a trial and a midlevel court upheld the verdict.

Two other police officials were convicted in the case.

In court filings, Flanagan’s attorneys have argued that the trial judge improperly admitted hearsay testimony by his alleged co-conspirators. They also argued that his actions regarding the stolen equipment weren’t criminal because he was authorized to return the materials to the school at the school’s request.

Prosecutors have countered that Flanagan returned the equipment “for a corrupt purpose: to avert (Zachary Parker’s) arrest and thus benefit his influential father.”

A judge originally had sentenced Flanagan to 60 days in jail and three months community service, a sentence that has been postponed pending appeal. He spent 29 years on the force and retired in 2012.

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