Ex-NCPD Commander Surrenders to Jail in Cover-up Case

William Flanagan
Former Second Deputy Nassau Police Commissioner William Flanagan, convicted of conspiring to cover up a burglary, faced a press swarm after his arrest in March 2012. (Photo by Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)

A former Nassau County police commander surrendered Thursday morning to county jail to begin serving his 60-day sentence after he was convicted of helping cover up a burglary, officials told the Press.

William Flanagan, the ex-second deputy Nassau County police commissioner, recently lost an appeal of his conviction before the New York State Court of Appeals, although his attorney had said Flanagan was filing a motion to re-argue their case.

Court officials and law enforcement sources said Flanagan surrendered to Nassau County jail in East Meadow. Sources said he is expected to serve his time at Suffolk County jail in Riverhead. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“William Flanagan’s imperious behavior brought scandal to his department and this county,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “Today, nearly eight years after his crime, William Flanagan is finally serving his sentence for official misconduct and conspiracy… No one – including William Flanagan – is above the law.”

A Nassau County jury convicted Flanagan of conspiracy and official misconduct following a month-long trial in 2013. He was acquitted of receiving reward for official misconduct, a felony. Two weeks ago, the state’s highest court affirmed a previous appeals court ruling upholding the conviction.

Prosecutors said Flanagan helped quash a burglary committed by Zachary Parker, the son of his friend, Gary Parker, who volunteered for and donated to the nonprofit Nassau County Police Foundation. Zachary, who was a Nassau police Ambulance Bureau intern at the time, had stolen thousands of dollars worth of electronics from his alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School, shortly before his 2009 graduation, authorities have said.

Parker wasn’t arrested for the theft despite school officials repeatedly insisting that they wanted to press charges. The theft and cover-up were the subject of a 2011 Press expose, which sparked an investigation by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

Parker was subsequently convicted of burglary, sentenced to prison after violating his probation, and has since been released.

Flanagan was among three former police officials charged in the cover-up. John Hunter, the retired Deputy Chief of Patrol, and Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe both pleaded guilty to misconduct and were sentenced to probation in connection with the case. They were spared jail time in exchange for their pleas.

Judge Mark Cohen—a Suffolk judge brought in after two Nassau judges recused themselves from the case—had sentenced Flanagan to 60 days in jail, but execution of that term had been repeatedly stayed pending the appeal. Cohen also sentenced Flanagan to five months of probation.