Three former Nassau County Police officials, one from Huntington Station, were indicted Thursday on charges they conspired to prevent the arrest of Merrick teenager Zachary Parker whose father was a financial benefactor of the police, the Nassau County District Attorney's office says.
Detective Sergeant Alan Sharpe, 54, of Huntington Station, is charged with second degree offering a false instrument for filing; two counts of official misconduct; and sixth degree conspiracy in connection with the case. 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.
Parker, now 20, was charged with stealing more than $3,000 worth of computers after he allegedly broke into in 2009.
Parker's attorney, Marc Gann of Mineola told Newsday that police never arrested him. Gann said Gary Parker, the teen's father, 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 reported in 2011 that Gary Parker is a business associate of the Nassau Police Department Foundation, founded to help fund a new police academy. The investigation found no criminality on the part of the NCPDF, according to the DAs office.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice described the arrests of the officers as a sad day for law enforcement.
"These defendants violated their oath and the law when they prevented a suspect's arrest and took investigative direction from the suspect's father," sadi Rice. "The people of Nassau County deserve equal and fair justice, and they deserve public officials who will perform their duties free from undue influence."
Also charged are:
Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan, 54, of Islip, charged with receiving reward for official misconduct, a felony; two counts of official misconduct; and and sixth degree conspiracy. 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, is charged with two counts of official misconduct and sixth degree conspiracy. 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.
The 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."