MINEOLA - Opening statements were heard today in the trial of the former Nassau County deputy police commissioner who is accused of covering up crimes to protect the young son of a police department donor.
William Flanagan has been charged with official misconduct and conspiracy. He was third-in-command of the entire Nassau County Police Department when prosecutors say he tried to make criminal charges vanish for a friend's 17-year-old son.
Prosecutors say that in exchange for helping his friend's son, Flanagan received pricey dinners and gift cards to a steakhouse. The friend also made a $100,000 donation to the police department, according to investigators.
Flanagan's attorney declared today that his client is "stone-cold innocent." He says Flanagan acted properly, and he accused the prosecutor's office of "attempting to smear him" by manufacturing the case against him, for reasons unknown.
Flanagan has retired. Two other police officials, who have also retired, have been accused in the case.