Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced last Friday that a former Nassau County Police Department deputy commissioner had been convicted of conspiracy and official misconduct for his role in preventing the arrest of a Bellmore-Merrick teenager whose father was a personal friend and a financial benefactor of a police foundation.
William Flanagan, 55, faces up to a year in jail for taking part in the alleged cover-up of now 21-year-old Zachary Parker’s break-in at John F. Kennedy High School four years ago. Rice said she was pleased that the jury validated the prosecution’s belief that “there isn’t one set of rules for the wealthy and connected and another set for everyone else” by convicting Flanagan.
“This is a huge win for the public, but it’s also a sad day for an awful lot of incredibly hardworking Nassau cops who do their brave jobs honestly every day,” she said. “This case is a reminder that to safeguard the public’s trust and the integrity of our honest officers, we must be vigilant in our fight against corruption and misconduct.”
The jury began deliberations on Feb. 8 and returned a partial verdict six days later, convicting Flanagan of two counts of official misconduct. On Feb. 15 jurors convicted him of one count of sixth-degree conspiracy, but found him not guilty of receiving a reward for official misconduct.
Rice explained that the charges date back to an incident in the Bellmore-Merrick area on May 19, 2009. That day, a school administrator from Kennedy High School, in Bellmore, called police to report the theft of more than $10,000 in electronics equipment from the school. Rice said that the administrator identified Parker, who was then a student at the school and a part-time employee of the NCPD’s Emergency Ambulance Bureau, as the suspected thief, and in a sworn statement to police, she expressed her desire that he be arrested.