Appeals Court Affirms Ex-Nassau Police Commander’s Conviction

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A panel of appeals court judges upheld Wednesday the conviction of a former Nassau County police deputy commissioner found guilty of covering up a burglary committed by a police nonprofit donor’s son.Attorneys for William Flanagan last year appealed a jury verdict convicting him of conspiracy and two counts of official misconduct, all misdemeanors, following a month-long trial in 2013. Four judges for the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department in Brooklyn unanimously rejected the defense’s arguments that he didn’t receive a fair trial due to prosecutorial misconduct, prejudicial statements and insufficient evidence.“To the extent that some of the prosecutor’s remarks made during her opening statement and summation were improper, those remarks did not deprive the defendant of a fair trial,” the judges wrote in the Oct. 7 ruling. “And any other error in this regard was harmless, as there was overwhelming evidence of the defendant’s guilt, and no significant probability that any error contributed to the defendant’s conviction.”Prosecutors have said that Flanagan helped quash the case against Zachary Parker, of Merrick, who stole thousands of dollars worth of electronics from his alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School, in Bellmore shortly before he graduated in 2009 while he was an intern for the Nassau police Ambulance Bureau. The burglar’s father, Gary Parker, was volunteering for the nonprofit Nassau County Police Department Foundation when he asked for Flanagan’s help with his son’s case.“Public corruption cannot be tolerated, and we brought this case because nothing is more fundamental than equal treatment under the law,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in response to the ruling. “I have the highest respect for the brave and honest men and women of our police forces, but when a police officer dishonors the badge by breaking the law, fair-minded people know that the law must apply equally to everyone and my office will hold them accountable.”Flanagan’s attorney, Donna Aldea, head of the Appellate Practice Group for Garden City-based Barket Marion Epstein & Kearon, LLP, said that she plans to file a motion for the case to be heard by the state Court of Appeals.“We continue to assert that Bill Flanagan did nothing wrong and was wrongfully convicted, and we were very disappointed by the Appellate Division’s decision today,” she said. “This won’t be the first time that the Court of Appeals is relied upon to right a wrong that other courts have overlooked.”Judge Mark Cohen—a Suffolk judge brought in after two Nassau judges recused themselves from the case—had sentenced Flanagan to 60 days in jail, but execution of that term was stayed pending the appeal. A court spokesman said that once the appeals court officially notifies Cohen of the ruling, a hearing will be scheduled in the case.Two other ex-police commanders—John Hunter, the retired Deputy Chief of Patrol, and Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe—both pleaded guilty to misconduct and were sentenced to probation in connection with the case, which stemmed from a Press expose into police favoritism for the nonprofit’s donors. Zachary Parker pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to prison after violating his probation. He has since been released.last_img read more

The Latest: UNC launching campaign to help athletes in need

first_img___The New Jersey Devils are donating 10,000 tickets for next season to health care workers with RWJBarnabas.The Devils also promised to donate two extra tickets for every season ticket member and plan holder who use credits they earned this year for next year.The NHL team plans to use social media to honor front-line workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New Jersey and across the country. The tribute is called “Stick Taps at 7” and will be broadcast at 7 p.m. It will include videos of players, alumni, coaches, management, front office staff and others saluting doctors, nurses and health care workers.RJWBarnabas Health is a sponsor of the Devils. May 6, 2020 Associated Press ___Juventus has announced that forward Paulo Dybala has recovered from the new coronavirus.Juventus issued a brief statement Wednesday saying that Dybala’s two latest tests came back negative for COVID-19. The club says Dybala has “therefore recovered and will no longer be subjected to the home isolation regime.”It was reported last week that Dybala was still positive for the disease after several weeks of tests.Juventus and most of the other Serie A clubs are resuming training this week on an individual basis before full team training restarts on May 18. Inter’s team doctor was one of three Serie A physicians who were hospitalized with the virus.Most of the other Italian league clubs are resuming training on an individual basis this week before full team training restarts on May 18.___The Croatian soccer federation says it wants to restart the season on May 30 with the cup semifinals.The country’s 10-team league is set to resume with all games in empty stadiums on June 6 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Russian anti-doping agency plans to resume testing this month.CEO Yuri Ganus says testing will start again in the last 10 days of May with a “balanced, selective and focused” approach as the agency tries to make up for a lengthy stoppage.Testing was suspended at the end of March when Russian President Vladimir Putin asked people to stay home unless they were working in designated essential sectors.Ganus says that during the stoppage “we have been carrying out all the work of a national anti-doping agency except for the testing.” That covers areas such as education, investigations and planning for future tests.Anti-doping work worldwide has come to a near-standstill during the coronavirus pandemic. That has raised fears that some athletes could take advantage and cheat. The Russian agency issued staff with disinfectant wipes and face masks before the stoppage and also offered athletes masks to wear while being tested.___The Turkish soccer league plans to resume on June 12, finish its season by the end of July and host the Champions League final in Istanbul in August.Turkey suspended its soccer, basketball and volleyball leagues because of the coronavirus outbreak on March 20.Turkish soccer federation president Nihat Ozdemir says “we are aiming to end the season on July 26 by playing seven weekends and one weekday game.” Tiley is the Australian Open’s tournament director. He says organizers have “modeled everything” and tells AAP “our best-case scenario at this point is having an AO with players that we can get in here with quarantining techniques and Australian-only fans.”More than 30 sanctioned tennis tournaments have been postponed or canceled so far because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The French Open was moved from May to September and Wimbledon was called off entirely for the first time in 75 years.A decision on this year’s U.S. Open is expected in June.___German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Bundesliga can resume this month amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said coaches will be required to wear masks and gloves. Bickerstaff said the workouts are voluntary and “no one is being pressured to do anything.”___Torino has announced that a player has tested positive for COVID-19 after the first run of medical tests were carried out on the team as it begins the return to training.The club has not named the player but says he is asymptomatic and has been placed in quarantine.Most Serie A clubs are resuming training this week on an individual basis before full team training restarts on May 18. No teams will be relegated but the top two from the second division will be promoted.There will be no relegation in the third and fourth divisions but the promoted clubs will come from the winners of playoff matches played without fans.___The head of the Australian Open says various contingency plans are being considered for the Grand Slam tournament scheduled for January 2021. They include scrapping it altogether because of the coronavirus pandemic or allowing just spectators from the host country.Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley tells the Australian Associated Press that the “worst-case scenario” is no tournament at all next year. Players for Barcelona, Real Madrid and other clubs arrived for medical tests and to start preparing for the return to training this week.The majority did not wear masks or gloves. Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez were among those without masks when they drove into Barcelona’s training center. Antoine Griezmann, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic had masks on.Real Madrid players Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema arrived without masks like most of their teammates.The training centers of all clubs were disinfected in the last couple of days. All players and members of the coaching staff are going to be tested for COVID-19 before training can resume.Players will initially train individually. The league wants a training period of about a month before it can restart in empty stadiums. It hopes to resume sometime in June. The owners of the team previously donated money and medical supplies to the RWJBarnabas Health Emergency Response Fund. Josh Harris and David Blitzer are the managing partners of the Devils.___Two more international golf tournaments for amateurs have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The International Golf Federation says the World Amateur Team Championships for men and women — scheduled over two weeks in October in Singapore — have been scratched. The tournament dates to 1958. It was moved in February from Hong Kong because of social unrest.The World Amateur Team is held every other year. The IGF decided not to postpone it until 2021 because of the effect it would create with scheduling problems. It next will be played in France in 2022. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___North Carolina says it’s launching a crowdfunding campaign to allow fans to help provide financial assistance to school athletes facing “extreme hardships” amid the coronavirus pandemic. Ozdemir says the games will be played without spectators and the Turkish health ministry and its scientific advisory council will determine the conditions and guidelines under which the games will go ahead.___Inter Milan has postponed the return of its players to the training field because not everyone on the team has been tested for the coronavirus.Serie A players are set to resume practice this week under a strict set of guidelines amid the pandemic and Inter was slated to restart on Wednesday.But Inter’s Suning Center remains closed and is now expected to reopen at the end of the week.center_img The school announced the creation of the Helping Heels Fund on Wednesday. It is designed to receive gifts to directly aid athletes and their families with expenses as permitted by NCAA rules. Those expenses could include groceries, medical bills and technology needs for online classes or remote learning.The fund is designed to supplement the school’s existing Student-Athlete Assistance Fund for the same issues. UNC has more than 800 student-athletes in 28 varsity sports.Athletics director Bubba Cunningham says many people have reached out seeking to help school athletes amid the pandemic that has shut down college sports while displacing athletes from campuses and team facilities. He says the new fund “is an opportunity to offer resources beyond what our department is currently able to provide.”The school’s compliance office will vet any funds provided and no money will go directly from a donor to an athlete.___ The Croatian federation is led by former player and UEFA executive committee member Davor Suker. It says final approval must come from public authorities. Lower-level leagues will not be completed.Dinamo Zagreb leads the league by 18 points over Rijeka with 10 matches remaining.Four clubs are in contention for the runner-up spot and a place in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.___Soccer players in Spain are going back to their team’s training camps for the first time since the country entered a lockdown nearly two months ago because of the coronavirus outbreak. Merkel announced a loosening of a range of containment measures after meeting with the country’s 16 state governors. Pressure to relax the rules had been growing as the rate of daily infections in the country has dropped.Soccer in the country’s top two divisions will be able to resume without spectators and with a range of other conditions designed to prevent another outbreak. Players will be tested and teams will also have to spend time in quarantine before games can restart.The earliest the league can resume is May 16. The German soccer league is to hold a general meeting with the country’s 36 professional clubs in the top two divisions via video link on Thursday.The Bundesliga was suspended with nine rounds remaining on March 13. The clubs had committed to finishing the season by the end of June.___ ___Paris Saint-Germain has donated 100,000 euros ($108,000) to the Action Against Hunger charity amid the coronavirus pandemic.The money provides charity workers helping those at risk with protective equipment such as surgical masks, goggles, gloves, gowns, gels and thermometers.The Parc des Princes has been operating as a support base for the charity in the Greater Paris region.PSG says club volunteers have helped charity staff “make, assemble and store hygiene kits and health equipment for those most at risk.” More than 2,000 people have benefited from hygiene and household kits. Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes says all sporting competitions in the country will remain suspended until July 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Belgian soccer league says it will respect the national security council’s decision. The league recommended last month ending its season with the current standings declared final.The league says “the working group’s proposals will be presented to the Pro League clubs at the general assembly on May 15.”Club Brugge stands to be awarded the title and qualify for next season’s Champions League if the advice is confirmed. Brugge is currently 15 points ahead of second-place Gent with one game to go before the season-ending playoffs.___ PSG president Nasser al-Khelaïfi says the charity’s “wide-ranging work in many fields is more essential than ever.”___Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow says Premier League clubs have yet to settle on protocols to ensure a safe return to playing during the coronavirus pandemic.The league is trying to find a way to resume in June but group practice sessions have not yet started.Purslow tells talkSPORT radio that “we haven’t got to the crucial protocols that relate to actually playing football. Until we crack the code of making our great contact sports safe then the conversation we’re having is hypothetical.” — Reporting by David Ginsburg in Baltimore___Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the NBA team is going ahead with plans to open its training facility on Friday so players can individually work out.Bickerstaff said the team has been in contact with local and Ohio health officials to make sure it is following safety guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team’s year-round facility in Independence, Ohio has been closed since mid-March.Bickerstaff, who took over the Cavs when John Beilein stepped down in February midway through his first season, said the league has advised that any player and coach remain 12 feet apart while on the floor together. Orioles outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. is eager to get back on the baseball diamond, though not until he can be sure it’s in a safe environment.Speaking Wednesday on a teleconference call from his home in Peachtree City, Georgia, Smith said he doesn’t want to return until there’s no threat of contracting the new coronavirus.“There’s a definitely a concern about that,” Smith said. “We want to make sure it’s 100 percent safe. When they give us the go — if they do — to start back up again, we don’t want to contract that virus and then pass it around to others amongst ourselves and get other people sick and just continue that pandemic.“Whenever they give us the go, when it’s like a really safe time to go back, I think that would be the best opportunity.”Smith has been passing the time during the quarantine with his family, but he made time to participate in a video game challenge with other big leaguers. Playing MLB The Show 19, Smith went 19-10, finished fifth and was named Players League Best Manager. Also, the R&A says it has postponed until next year the inaugural Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship. It was scheduled for Sept. 3-6 in Buenos Aires. It now is scheduled for Sept. 2-5 in 2021.___The Spanish soccer federation is proposing an end to this season’s women’s league because of the coronavirus pandemic.The proposal is expected to be approved by the federation’s board on Thursday.Barcelona was leading the competition at the time it was suspended in March and will be declared champion. The Latest: UNC launching campaign to help athletes in need The teams have been allowed to do so under a strict set of guidelines, including testing players and staff.___The Green Bay Packers are teaming with American Family Insurance to provide $20,000 worth of ready-made meals to northeast Wisconsin’s front-line workers in the fight against the new coronavirus. Packers officials said the meals will be delivered to hospitals May 6-12 for Nurse Appreciation Week and will go to police and fire stations May 10-16 as part of Police Appreciation Week.The Packers also have provided $1.5 million in grants through the Packers Give Back COVID-19 Community Relief Fund. Aston Villa has joined Brighton and West Ham in expressing public opposition to the current “Project Restart” plan that would see all remaining games played at neutral stadiums.Purslow says “we have six home games left to play so any Villa fan would agree that giving up that advantage is a massive decision for somebody running Aston Villa and I certainly wouldn’t agree to that unless the circumstances are right.”Villa is in next-from-last place in the Premier League and two points from safety with 10 games remaining.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Safety Mitchell excited about joining Steelers

first_imgNewly acquired Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell, right, stands with team president Arthur J. Rooney II, left, before a news conference at the NFL football teams headquarters in Pittsburgh on Thursday, March 13, 2014. Mitchell signed a five-year deal with the Steelers. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Mike Mitchell grew up in the Cincinnati area, so his youth was spent as a fan of the Bengals.Mitchell also was aware of their division rival, the Steelers, and the safety quickly found out more about them and their fan base after he signed a five-year contract with the club when free agency began this week.“I’m big on Twitter, and I read a lot about what people say,” Mitchell said Thursday. “I made the announcement at 6 o’clock, and I’ve already gotten close to 10,000 more followers. So the Steelers Nation definitely is alive and going strong. And you can feel it.“I feel very welcome, and people want to see me do good. So I can’t wait to get to work with my teammates. . My agent was fielding a lot of phone calls, and he was running off a list of teams. (But) as soon as I heard the Steelers, growing up around the Cincinnati area, that was a team you knew about. And being a Bengals fan when I was a kid, you were afraid of them.”Mitchell clearly isn’t afraid anymore, and his physical brand of football appears to mesh well with the club’s defensive philosophy. So, he jumped at the opportunity to play for the Steelers.“I know what the franchise is about, and the way that they play football here I really think fits my personality,” Mitchell said. “It’s very hard-nosed and the division, the AFC North, is very physical.“So there were just too many things to pass up, and I immediately identified them as a team that I definitely wanted to go to. And I think the feeling was mutual. My family and I are extremely excited, and we’re very happy to have this opportunity.”Mitchell played his first four NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders and was a spot starter. His career blossomed as a primary starter last season for Carolina. Mitchell had 66 total tackles with 50 solo stops, 3 1-2 sacks, eight pass breakups, four interceptions and two forced fumbles during his only season in Carolina.Mitchell took a chance and signed a one-year contract with the Panthers. It paid off this week with a five-year Steelers contract for $25 million. The deal contains $5.75 million guaranteed, a $4.75 million signing bonus and first-year roster bonus of $500,000. His base contract this season is $750,000. It jumps to $2 million next year, plus a $2 million roster bonus due in March 2015. He will make $5 million from 2016-2018 and be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more