Court Rejects Bid to Re-do Appeal of Ex-NCPD Commander’s Conviction

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)

The highest court in New York State has denied a motion requesting a re-do of arguments in an appeal of a former Nassau County police commander’s conviction for covering up a burglary.

The ruling Tuesday came three months after the state Court of Appeals upheld a lower appeals court’s prior confirmation of a Nassau jury’s 2013 verdict convicting William Flanagan, the ex-Nassau police second deputy commissioner, of misconduct and conspiracy.

“A jury convicted William Flanagan of official misconduct and that conviction has been upheld all the way to the state’s highest court,” Nassau County District Attorney Madaline Singas said. “I commend our investigators and prosecutors for their outstanding work holding this defendant accountable for the criminal betrayal of the trust placed in him as Deputy Police Commissioner.”

Prosecutors have 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 ’09 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 ’11 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.

After the February ruling, Flangan began serving his jail term and was released March 31, jail officials said. He served his time at Suffolk County jail in Riverhead because of his ties to Nassau.

His attorney, Donna Aldea, declined to comment.