I have to think that Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice either doesn't care about the taxpayers who (barely) elected her, or she thinks we are stupid. Her latest boondoggle is costing us a minimum of Ten Thousand dollars, for five days.
Frank Tassone is a non violent and evidentially very sick heart patient who also happens to have helped steal Eleven Million Dollars from the Roslyn (NY) School District (see this article.) The case has generated a lot of publicity here on Long Island, throughout New York State, and across the country. Though the investigation was completed by her predecessor, District Attorney Rice has been basking in the glow of the convictions her office has obtained even though she was unable to convince the judge in the case to impose the serious sentences she wanted. Getting the convictions and jail time without costing the already ripped of residents of Nassau more money, was laudable. Not happy however with coming in at the last moment, finishing the job, and getting all the good will that comes with the convictions her predecessor's investigation put in motion, Rice had to come in with one of the most bush-leauge moves I have seen in twenty two (22)years of practicing law. It again calls into question, Rice's professional maturity for her postion.
Tassone is in Lenox Hill Hosptial in NYC. He has congestive heart failure. He has surrendered his passport and returned a large share of the stolen money. As previously noted, he is not violent. He missed court twice while in the hospital. According to Newsday, the judwarranted a warrent for Tassone's arrest but also set another court date. Every real lawyer knows that the court is saying: "if he doesn't get in on the next day, I will be very angry." It does not mean go out to his hospital bed and arrest him.
NY Court of Claims Judge Alan Honorof, the judge in the case, is a very decent man. He would never unnecessarily cost taxpayers money. Unfortunately he underestimates the publicity seeking Ms. Rice. She went right out and had her police officers arrest Mr. Tassone at his hospital bed. Assuming Tassone is not released before his next court date of Tuesday, this little charade will cost we taxpayers a minimum of Ten Thousand ($10,000)Dollars in non overtime salary costs. If there is overtime involved, then it's going to cost nearly double. Those figures also do not inconveniencenconvienence to the Doctors, nurses and staff at the Hospital.
Rice complained "So am I supposed to wait until he does actually flee?" "Imagine the phone calls I'd be getting then: 'How could you let this happen? You should have known; he didn't show up twice before.'" Oh good now we are going to govern by trying to avoid bad publicity???
This lady has a bad excuse for every halfbaked scheme she comes up with. This county has more than its share of violent, healthy, dangerous, criminals that she cannot find in one day. But a sick fosuperintendentperintendant, he is a priority because he may garner her bad publicity if he gets out of a hospital bed with heart failure and escapes???? So now she is governing by the "Cover your ass" system of Justice?
It is rumored around the courthouse that Rice thinks she will be NY's next Jr. Senator from NY assuming the one we have now runs for a different office.
This is just one more example of Rice's nonchalance toward the costs of her immaturity in office on the taxpayers of Nassau County. Rice's budget proposal has been handed into the county legislature. It is a disaster. She has 4 more employees than she had in 2003 and her budget is 30% more expensive!!! That is more than 6 million Dollars!
I am unfortunately correct about Ms. Rice and her plans. She cares not a wit about the victims of Nassau County, unless of course their plight advances her publicity or career. When is Rice going to start to show some class in this job? I will analyze Rice's budget request and advise why the legislature should reduce it in my next post.