Former school chief's mixed message
The Roslyn school district on Long Island has quite the scandal on its hands. It started out in 2002 when the chief financial officer Pamela Gluckin was discovered to have stolen money from the district. Did the school district notify the police or the DA? No. They allowed her to quietly retire after she paid $250,000 back to the district. They thought this was the amount she stole, but it turns out to have been much more than that. Why would the school district do this and keep it secret? Because an outside attorney told them they had no obligation to notify anyone. How did the school superintendent and school board explain Gluckin's sudden departure? They told parents she was ill. This year an anonymous letter was sent to the Nassau District Attorney's office and other officials that exposed the 2 year old theft and the district's coverup. What was the reaction of the school superintendent to this letter? He dismissed the allegations and accused the letter writer of sloppy accusations. The superintendent, Frank Tassone, was believed by parents because you see, he was very charismatic. But some people were concerned because Tassone was more concerned with finding out who sent the letter rather than addressing the accusations it contained. Eventually it was discovered that Tassone had billed $800,000 to a company that was owned by his roomate, Stephen Signorelli. It turns out that Tassone was using school district money to live a posh lifestyle. He even bought a home with a 32 year old man, Jason Daugherty in Las Vegas. The superintendent has now been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $1 million over 27 months.
Some more things about the situation that seem familiar to me come from this New York Times article: Shattered Impressions of a School Superintendent. In it I learned that:
"Until several months ago, many people in this affluent village said, it would have been unthinkable to imagine Dr. Tassone in such a context. He was a progressive leader who spoke of social justice, made condoms available in the high school and built a community service program founded on the concept that the privileged class should give something back. "
"Dr. Tassone's fall from grace has unleashed a torrent of anger in Roslyn"
" 'Call me Frank,' " Paul Burros, a Roslyn resident, recalled Dr. Tassone saying when he met him at a school district gathering four years ago."