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Friday, March 2, 2012

3-Cop-Bigwigs Indicted for Blocking Arrest of Pal's Son

3 ex-Nassau police bigs indicted for allegedly blocking arrest of pal’s son
The New York Daily News by Joe Kemp - March 1, 2012
Charged with conspiracy, official misconduct

Three former Nassau Police Department bigs have been indicted in corruption scandal. Three former Nassau County police officials were charged Thursday with conspiring to quash burglary raps against the teenage son of a department fund-raiser. Deputy Police Commissioner William Flanagan, Deputy Chief Inspector John Hunter and Detective Sergeant Alan Sharpe were each hit with charges that include conspiracy and official misconduct, District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. Flanagan and Hunter both retired this week. Sharpe retired at the beginning of the year. The charges come after a probe found the three officials had conspired to avoid arresting Zachary Parker after he was caught swiping electronic equipment from his school, John F. Kennedy High in Bellmore, in May 2009, authorities said. The student’s father, Gary Parker — then a prominent fund-raiser for the Nassau County Police Department Foundation — soon sent an email to Hunter, 59, asking the department to “lay low” on the investigation, sources and court papers show. The burglary case — which included evidence that Zachary Parker stole more than $10,000 worth of equipment — was later dropped. The three police commanders allegedly helped get the stolen merchandise back to the school and filed a false report to say that the school administration did not wish to press charges, court papers show. Parker, a Manhattan accountant, then sent Flanagan, 54, “hundreds of dollars worth” of gift cards to thank him for the cover-up, a law enforcement source said. The county’s former third top cop sent an email to Parker saying his gift was “over the top,” according to the court documents. During the probe, investigators also found that Parker spent more than $17,000 on gifts and meals with senior officials including the three police officials, a law enforcement source said. It was not clear if any of the meals were to discuss the case against Parker’s son, the source said. Zachary Parker has been arrested repeatedly for drug possession since he was identified as the suspect in the burglary case, authorities said. “This is a sad day for law enforcement in Nassau County,” Rice said in a statement. “These defendants violated their oath and the law when they prevented a suspect’s arrest and took investigative direction from the suspect’s father.” Flanagan, Hunter and Sharpe all pleaded not guilty and were released without bail. They are due back in court on May 22. Their lawyers told The Associated Press that all three had distinguished careers and would be vindicated at trial. After the Long Island Press exposed the case last March, Gary Parker resigned from the foundation’s board. Investigators at the district attorney’s office subsequently opened a case on the alleged theft and Zachary Parker, now 20, was arrested. He is awaiting trial on burglary charges.

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