Nassau County cops arrested for taking lavished gifts from wealthy accountant www.privateofficer.com
Nassau County NY March 3 2012 A wealthy accountant spent thousands of dollars wining and dining top Nassau County cops — showering one with gift cards and sports tickets — as he orchestrated a corrupt effort to keep his druggie son out of jail for a burglary, authorities said yesterday.
Gary Parker, a generous police booster, dropped more than $17,000 on lavish meals at places like Morton’s steakhouse to show his thanks to Deputy Police Commissioner William Flanagan, Deputy Chief of Patrol John Hunter and ex-Deputy Commander Alan Sharpe, sources said.
The three disgraced cops surrendered yesterday on charges related to the scrapped 2009 criminal probe of Parker’s son, Zachary.
Prosecutors said Flanagan also accepted hundreds of dollars in gift cards — including to Morton’s — a day after he assured Parker that audio-visual equipment stolen by Zachary had been returned to his Bellmore high school, sources said.
“THANK YOU!!!!!” Parker gushed in a related e-mail to Flanagan, who replied in his own e-mail, “de nada [you’re welcome], family,” according to an indictment.
Flanagan, after receiving Parker’s gift cards, wrote in another e-mail that the gift was “over the top,” the indictment revealed.
The three cops enjoyed the fancy meals with unindicted pals, including former Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey, said a source.
Parker also gave Flanagan baseball tickets, another source said.
Flanagan and Hunter — who put in for retirement a day before their arrests — will keep their lucrative pensions, as will Sharpe, even if they are convicted.
Flanagan, 54, was earning $224,929 a year, and Hunter, 59, made $177,874.
Parker, with offices in Manhattan, served on the board of Mulvey’s private foundation, which is raising $25 million to build a new police academy.
Mulvey’s office ordered the case against Zachary Parker to be quashed, according to a Long Island Press exposé last year. The former top cop refused to comment yesterday.
“This is a sad day for law enforcement in Nassau County,” said District Attorney Kathleen 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 three defendants went to great lengths to keep Zachary Parker out of jail after he was named by a school administrator as the likely thief of more than $10,000 worth of equipment from John F. Kennedy HS.
In chummy e-mails with Gary Parker, Flanagan and Hunter allegedly assisted efforts to return the equipment to the school to help get the complaint dropped.
Sharpe allegedly filed a memo closing the case, falsely stating that school officials gave their blessing.
Rice’s office arrested Zachary Parker, 20, in October on burglary and other charges. He has since been busted twice for drug offenses.
Flanagan is charged with receiving rewards for official misconduct — a felony — as well as misdemeanor charges of official misconduct and conspiracy. He faces up to four years in prison.
Hunter faces a year in prison if convicted of official misconduct and conspiracy, and Sharpe faces two years on those charges and offering a false instrument for filing.
All were released without bail.
“I’ve committed no crime here,” Flanagan told reporters.
His lawyer said he got the gift cards from Gary Parker because “they were friends.”
Hunter’s and Sharpe’s lawyers also proclaimed their innocence.
“Gary Parker did absolutely nothing wrong and was not engaged in any kind of bribery,’’ said his lawyer, Stephen Scaring.
“If he was, he would have been charged by the district attorney.”