Opening statements started Tuesday in the conspiracy trial against William Flanagan, the ex-second deputy Nassau County police commissioner accused of helping cover-up a burglary for a friend.
Prosecutors laid out their theory to the jury, who heard allegations that Flanagan received gifts from his friend once burglary charges were dropped against his friend’s son.
Bruce Barket, Flanagan’s defense attorney, argued that the gifts his client received were coincidentally timed and really for Flanagan’s wedding anniversary.
Most disputed, besides Flanagan’s involvement, is whether the principal of John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore wanted charges against the burglar, former student Zachary Parker of Merrick, dropped.
The principal, Lorraine Poppe, is expected to testify in the trial, which will likely last into February. Parker later pled guilty and is serving prison time for the burglary.
Flanagan pleaded not guilty in March to an indictment charging him with official misconduct and conspiracy along with former Chief of Patrol John Hunter and retired Det. Sgt Alan Sharpe.
Hunter and Sharpe are slated to be tried separately.
Judge Mark Cohen denied motions from Barket calling for a mistrial because he felt the judge was prejudicial when prosecutors objected during his opening statement.
Flangan, Sharpe and Hunter were indicted following a Press expose into benefits given to those who have donated money to a Nassau police nonprofit foundation that is building a new police academy at Nassau Community College.