Man At Center Of Nassau Police Dept. Corruption Case Pleads Guilty

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The man at the center of a police misconduct case in Nassau County has admitted to stealing equipment from his old high school.

Zachary Parker, 20, stood in court Friday and pleaded guilty to burglary for stealing $10,000 worth of computers and other equipment from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore in 2009.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera Hears From Parker’s Lawyer

But the case goes much deeper.

The district attorney said that after Parker stole the items, three high ranking police officials tried to cover up the crime because Parker’s father was a big benefactor of the department.

The three, including Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan, 54, Deputy Chief Inspector John Hunter, 59, and Alan Sharpe, 54, a recently retired deputy commander, were later charged because of the case.

Parker’s father, Gary Parker, allegedly tried to squelch the probe into the burglary by donating $100,000 to the police foundation while treating the accused cops to gifts, tickets and meals, according to the district attorney.

“He’s certainly distraught and upset that the distinguished careers of those three individuals were affected,” said Parker’s attorney Marc Gann.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story

Gann said his client “never intended for anybody to even be accused of doing anything improper and doesn’t believe that anybody did do anything improper.”

Taxpayers also learned that even if the veteran officers are found guilty of conspiracy and official misconduct, they will still rake in their six-figure termination pay of the following amounts:

  • Flanagan — $449,858
  • Hunter — $415,302
  • Sharpe — $321,152

The lump sum payments are in addition to the pensions that each will receive.  Flanagan’s attorney, Bruce Barket, defended the packages.

“The idea that somehow their pension or their severance package is a gift, like a gold watch at retirement — it is not,” he told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

Barket said the officers earned the money from decades of unused vacation, sick days, and night differential pay. Political observers suggest the system needs fixing.

“If you’re caught on the job breaking the law, you shouldn’t be allowed to collect a pension for the time you spent breaking the law,” said Lawrence Levy with the Hofstra University National Center for Suburban Studies.

If found guilty, the officers face prison time.

The judge promised a sentence of five years probation for Parker, and during that time, he may not drive. His record will also be sealed because he was a youth at the time of the admitted burglary.

Do you think the punishment is fair? Sound off in the comments section below!

  • Donalds

    Routien re-investigations, including polygraphs every 5yrs to help fight and prevent police misconduct and corruption.

  • Roddy

    What about the father of the kid caught stealing? Sounds like he’s as guilty as everybody else.

  • S

    Last month University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Political Science and the Illinois Integrity Initiative of the University of Illinois’ Institute for Government and Public Affairs released a report about corruption. Unfortunately for NY its public corruption rank wasn’t far from the top of the list. Regarding the men’s punishment, I’m just glad prison is “on the table”. All too often acts that would be deemed criminal if committed by regular joes are unlawfully miscategorized as low-level ethics violations when committed by those in power. Now let’s see if those charged with administering justice put the men in prison where they belong (the same place in which an average citizen would likely be for similar law breaking)…or will this just be delayed, delayed, and then delayed more in hopes that the public will just forget about it so that the men can get off with a mere “slap on the wrist”? Only time will tell.

    In any event, Florida’s public corruption rank isn’t far behind. All of the corruption afflicting the country is both sad and endemic. Alachua County, Florida is at this very moment inadvertently setting itself up for an election fiasco that involves a corrupt judge who has several co-conspirators. You can’t make this stuff up…unfortunately it’s 100% true and supported by two reports and extensive irrefutable evidence that is in the possession of agencies, including those within Florida’s 8th Judicial Circuit (and Chief Judge Martha Lott and Chief Investigator Spencer Mann). The judge, and former prosecutor, at the heart of the issue is David P. Kreider. Take a look at

    for more information.

  • Doug

    For you people that were scammed by electing so called “pension reformers” into office in NY, you’re idiots. You won’t see any reduction in pension costs for at least 23-30 years, which is when the first Tier 5 people will be eligible to retire. Realistically, you won’t see anything until probably 35 years and it won’t save you one dime in tax savings they fooled you into thinking you’ll get. Pension reform doesn’t generate money. All it does is keep current tax bills the same. The average NYS pension is $17,000 despite what the policitians have fooled you into thinking. Once again, the sheeple have been rooked into voting for nothing.

  • Tallminglecom


  • Bullett

    Too little, too late to plea guilty, but on the other hand those three p.o.s. walk away with big pensions that are untouchable. And people want to know if Gov. Coumo did the right thing about pension reform. I say yes, but it still has a long way to go.

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