Opening statements are scheduled to start Monday in the trial of a retired Nassau County police detective sergeant accused of helping two ex-commanders of covering up a burglary committed by a police benefactor’s son.
Alan Sharpe had pleaded not guilty charges in a March 2012 grand jury indictment, which included misdemeanor counts of conspiracy, official misconduct and offering a false instrument for filing.
Prosecutors have said Sharpe changed a report written by a Seventh Squad detective in his command to falsely suggest that officials at John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore did not want to press charges in 2009 against a then-student who stole thousands of dollars worth of electronics.
Sharpe’s codefendant, ex-Second Deputy Nassau County Police Commissioner William Flanagan, was convicted of official misconduct and conspiracy charges last year. A jury acquitted him of felony receiving reward for misconduct. Judge Mark Cohen had sentenced him to 60 days in jail but the execution of his sentence was stayed while attorneys for Flanagan appeal the conviction.
Former Deputy Chief of Patrol John Hunter had pleaded guilty to conspiracy and misconduct charges after Flanagan was convicted. He was sentenced to probation and community service.
The student, Zachary Parker of Merrick, who was an intern with the police ambulance bureau at the time of the thefts, was released from a prison boot camp for youthful offenders last summer after pleading guilty to burglary and drug charges, then violating the terms of his probation.
Parker and the ex-brass were charged after Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office investigated allegations in a Press expose detailing police favoritism. Parker’s father, Gary, had been identified in court as an unindicted coconspirator for using his police contacts as a member of a police nonprofit to have the charges against his son quashed.