A Suffolk County judge Friday took over the case of three ex-Nassau County police commanders accused of covering up a burglary committed by the son of a police nonprofit donor.
Acting Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen was tapped last month to preside over the case after two Nassau County judges recused themselves—Judge George Peck last month and Judge John Kase in May.
Cohen sought to nip another potential conflict of interest in the bud when he said a court clerk once worked at Nassau County jail with the ex-wife of one of the suspects, former Deputy Chief Inspector John Hunter.
“This fact, while disclosed out of an abundance of caution…will not have an impact on this case,” Cohen said while presiding in Judge Kase’s courtroom.
After overseeing the pre-trial conference on a half dozen pending motions, the case was adjourned to Oct. 26, when Cohen said a trial date may be scheduled.
William Flanagan, the former second deputy police commissioner, has pleaded not guilty to official misconduct and conspiracy along with Hunter and Alan Sharpe, an ex-detective sergeant.
The trio has been indicted on charges that they tried to squash the investigation into 20-year-old Zachary Parker of Merrick, who pleaded guilty in March to burglarizing electronics from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore four years ago.
Prosecutors said the ex-cops tried to nix the probe into Parker as a favor to his father, Gary, who donated money to a police foundation fundraising to build a new police academy.
The younger Parker was arrested again last week after police said he crashed a car into a stop sign in Hicksville and fled the scene. He was jailed until his next court date Sept. 10.