The ex-second deputy Nassau County police commissioner was sentenced Monday before a courtroom packed with supporters to 60 days in jail and five months probation for covering up his friend’s son’s burglary four years ago.
Judge Mark Cohen sentenced William Flanagan, who resigned upon his arrest last year, but the Appellate Division ruled an hour later that Flanagan can remain free while his appeal is pending.
“I still do not believe my actions were criminal,” Flanagan told the court after clearing his throat and later wiping away tears. “I will move on with my life. I am looking forward to closure for all.”
A jury convicted Flanagan in February of misdemeanor misconduct and conspiracy but acquitted him of felony receiving reward for misconduct.
Prosecutors have said he used his rank to ensure that laptops and a projector stolen in 2009 from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore were returned in an attempt to have charges against the thief, Zachary Parker, dropped. Flanagan is friends with Parker’s father, Gary, a police nonprofit donor who gave Flanagan gifts after the charges against Parker were dropped.
The younger Parker, who graduated the year of the thefts, was not charged until the Press exposed the cover-up and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office launched an investigation that resulted in indictments for Parker and three top cops. Parker later pleaded guilty to burglary, violated his probation and was sentenced to a prison boot camp that he’s expected to be released form this week.
One of Flanagan’s two co-defendants, former Chief of Patrol John Hunter, pleaded guilty to misconduct and was sentenced to community service in May. The other, retired Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe, is due back in court next month.
Rep. Peter Kin g (R-Seaford) and former Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey were among the dozens of supporters that packed the courtroom, then gave him a round of applause when he came out into the hallway to thank them.
Assistant District Attorney Bernadette Ford recommended that Flanagan be sentenced to one year in jail, the maximum for misdemeanors, to serve as a warning to other public servants that break the law.
“Mr. Flanagan was no error-prone rookie at the time of his crimes,” she said in court. “He allowed his judgment to be clouded.”