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Nassau Cops Indicted on Charges Stemming from 2009 Kennedy Burglary

Nassau DA says that they provided special treatment for son of police donor.

Three former top Nassau County Police officials were indicted by a grand jury Thursday morning on charges that they conspired to and intentionally prevented the arrest of a Merrick teenager whose father was a financial benefactor of the police, the Nassau County District Attorney's office says.

According to multiple reports, Zachary Parker of Merrick, now 20, was charged with stealing more than $3,000 worth of computers after he allegedly broke into Kennedy High School in 2009.

Parker's attorney, Marc Gann of Mineola told Newsday that police never arrested him.

Gann said Parker's father, Gary Parker, who has friends in the police department, contacted school and police officials and asked them to handle the incident as a civil rather than a criminal matter.

The Long Island Press, which first reported the story in March 2011, says that Parker's father, Gary, is a business associate of a group called the Nassau Police Department Foundation, which says on its website that it was founded to help fund a new police academy.

Charged in the indictment are:

Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan, 54, of Islip. Flanagan is charged with Receiving Reward for Official Misconduct, a Class E felony, two counts of Official Misconduct, and Conspiracy in the Sixth Degree. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted. His annual salary as of Dec. 31, 2011 was $224,929. Flanagan submitted his resignation on Feb. 29.

Deputy Chief Inspector John Hunter, 59, of Oyster Bay. Hunter is charged with two counts of Official Misconduct and Conspiracy in the Sixth Degree. He faces up to one year in jail if convicted. His annual salary as of Dec. 31, 2011 was $177,874. Hunter submitted his resignation on Feb. 29.

Detective Sergeant Alan Sharpe, 54, of Huntington Station. Sharpe is charged with Offering a False Instrument For Filing in the Second Degree, two counts of Official Misconduct, and Conspiracy in the Sixth Degree. He faces up to two years in jail if convicted and sentenced consecutively. His annual salary as of Dec. 31, 2011 was $138,776. Sharpe retired on Jan. 5.

The investigation found no criminality on the part of the Nassau County Police Department Foundation, according to the DAs office.

"This is a sad day for law enforcement in Nassau County," said Rice. "These defendants violated their oath and the law when they prevented a suspect's arrest and took investigative direction from the suspect's father.  The people of Nassau County deserve equal and fair justice, and they deserve public officials who will perform their duties free from undue influence."

The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District released the following statement:

"The district contacted the Nassau County Police Department in May 2009 concerning the theft of property from John F. Kennedy High School. The district completed necessary forms to file charges against the perpetrator. The district has fully cooperated with the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office investigation into the circumstances of this matter."

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Escape LI March 01, 2012 at 04:12 PM
The article says they resigned February 29, 2012. Did they resign or did they file for retirement and receive their pensions?
Frank March 01, 2012 at 04:36 PM
@ escape. Both. Money corrupts absolutely. Wonder is the County will press any civil penalties against those charged?
Ken March 01, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Unethical conduct and not following standard procedures are inexcuseable within the NCPD. We are seeing questionable practices from the department on an ongoing basis. If the police department does not know right from wrong, how can they expect the public to know the difference. Shame on them, SHAME on them.
James Hayes March 01, 2012 at 09:37 PM
We have to give these people the benefit of doubt, and not proclaim them guilty before they have a fair and honest chance to say what their side of the story is in court. Every story has two sides.
Richard Weiss March 02, 2012 at 12:53 AM
The underlying problem is how these well off parents try to cover up for their kids inexcusable behavior rather than having them own up to what they've done and face the necessary discipline. This is endemic in Bellmore Merrick and other well off communities. The police enabled it.
barry March 02, 2012 at 01:09 AM
bullshit. throw the 3 cops, the father and son in jail. We must throw the book at these people because they think that they are larger than the law. no trial. guilty as charged. period.
Merrick7 March 02, 2012 at 02:30 PM
In Newsday it was reported those that, resigned , retired with their pensions and benefits, but I could have misinterpreted today's article.
Merrick7 March 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Awfully harsh rhetoric. If you are a long time South Merrick resident as I am and my family before me, you would know it is a small community of good-willed hardworking families. The Parker family is just as good and decent as any other. Can you blame a father for using influence to protect his son? Would not anyone do the same for their child, if they had the power to do so? As for the police, this was not a violent crime and I believe the merchandise was recovered to the district. The district and the Nassau DA had no complaints either with regards to this case. This unfortunately is being brought up now because fo the crusade against police for the downfall of the county. Truth be told, excessive borrowing from the 1990's with Gulotta and into the 2000's under Suozzi has caused a massive yearly debt service of over 300 million dollars of old debt yet-to-be retired that is not even from the current Executive Administration. Not to mention Medicaid costs are costing an additional 300 million approx. dollar benefit, and must be restructured, for being overly generous, and taken over on the state level. And specialized education is also costing a great deal spiraling well out-of-control. Thanks to the NY State education department and new policies from Secretary of Ed Arne Duncan. Pensions & insurance are results of the new health care mandate and a recovering stock market, not the fault of unions. I am not saying they shouldn't make concessions, but they aren't criminal
Merrick7 March 02, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Unfortunately, the only chess piece for the administration to move to control costs is union concessions and on the state level a new pension tier. The state should repeal the Triborough Amendment to end the leverage of continuing pay when a contract is not ratified for an union in any level of government. Also there must be review of the state arbitration process, which is marred by corruption and weakness, favoring union benefits and increases. This is why you have seen NCPD raises sky rocket, because of binding arbitration favoring unions. Also NYS must continue to aggressively pursue and control insurance costs as they successfully did, stopping the huge double-digit increases that had been becoming the norm. And unions from school district to village, county and state must realize if they do not concede there governments will go bankrupt and their source of revenue for security in retirement will dry up. These people are your neighbors and colleagues and are relatives and friends of your friends and close ones. They are being crippled by taxes, which are paying for your increases, while jobs are lost, pay has been excessively cut and benefits have evaporated. The private sector well is dried up, it is time for unions to stop digging in the sand. Because of NYS Pension laws, these huge increases in contributions will continue for two more years until the cycle is complete despite the stock market already recovered.
James59 March 02, 2012 at 03:59 PM
According to some reports Zachary Parker was also arrested in Florida for drug possession. How good a family to bribe policemen? Zach was a nusiance too as a member of Bellmore Fire Department. He needed some discipline early to understand his limitations and instead was protected by the father. Essentially the father empowered him to believe he was above the law. Good for Katherine Rice.
michael March 02, 2012 at 07:55 PM
merrick 7 you must be a relative/friend of the parker family. stop bringing up outside issues that do not pertain to this case. Ok, protect your son. NOT in this matter. Must be a real loser as a parent. Get your son some real needed help and stop paying off our police officers. You must have the money if you can afford to treat our NCPD so well.
Mark March 03, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Excellent. We need to get rid of these old foggies in police adminstration and take away there benifets, they used there position to protect there spoiled idiot family members. While anyone else charged with a crime in Nassau County had no fair advantage over the legal system. Everthing needs to be revamped, police salarys,police in general, to many of them on streets just hurting the Long Island familys dishing out tickets. Im for giving tickets if well deserved. But NCPD And Sulfolk PD, including the villages spend way to much time setting up speed traps,useless check points only for ticket and profit making. This does not help residents of Long island. Ticket quotes must stop. DMV POINT SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE REVAMPED as the points are to easily reached to maxium level? A cop can issue you 3 tickets in one stop that can accumlate to 12 points? Then bam you lose and get your liscense suspended if you dont get tickets reduced or thrown out. Its not fair to the citizens to have a too low of a point system that does not give us a chance to correct our bad driving habits if we quickly reach the max level and a suspension. Simply raise the points to 20 or so.
Merrick7 March 03, 2012 at 07:35 PM
@Michael. I am not a relative, but yes as I clearly stated South Merrick is a "small community." I clearly made it known I knew the family and am friendly with them (not friends however). The family is a good family. Your judging this based on a bare bones coverage of an event you know little about.
SSteacher March 10, 2012 at 03:21 AM
@Merrick7. Any parent that would break the law to protect their son who had ALREADY broken the law gets exactly what they deserve, a ruined reputation as a parent and member of the community. Anyone who supports such an action obviously has no scruples and should not be trusted. Attempting to switch the argument to blame teachers and cops while justifying a crime....well I guess that speaks for itself. Shame on you.
Escape LI March 10, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Hey SS Teacher, want to know who “has no scruples and should not be trusted?” Try teachers who make over $100K for 180 six hour days – minus 12 sick days, 5 personal days…” well I guess that speaks for itself. Shame on you.”
SSteacher March 10, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Escape, I get it. You hate teachers. That has nothing to do with the article or the comments. Great post!
Escape LI March 10, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I hate phonies who take every cent they can from the public and then go around commenting on who ““has no scruples and should not be trusted.”
Nobody March 21, 2012 at 03:56 PM
There is the law, and then a jury's interpretation of the law. If you actually look at the situation, yes the way the police handled it was wrong. However, the good outweighs the bad in my opinion. Should Parker lose his case, the new police academy will lose a lot of funding. Holding these men who have served the county their whole life is wrong no matter how you slice it. For those of us in business, this is a client who paid for some special treatment and received it. The only time it becomes a problem, is when other clients hear about it. Had none of us ever known about his son being let off, the academy would be well funded, a small town's reputation is protected (believe me in a rough housing market, this is more important then you think), and in return we have to let a 20 year old with a drug problem off the hook? I hate to say it, but I'd have taken the money too. They didn't personally benefit from this. The COMMUNITY did. Small minds think in small pictures. Great minds think in big pictures. Just my 2 cents.
SSteacher March 23, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Nobody, stealing from the community is acceptable if someone has a drug problem but can direct funding to a pet project? Big picture, kids with money dont get in trouble. Kids without money go to jail.

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