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The Roslyn School Saga
Reveals the Rationale Behind Teacher Abuse - Corrupt leaders cannot have ethical people anywhere near them!

THAT COULDN'T HAPPEN IN MY DISTRICT
Adolph Hitler once said, "What good fortune for those in power that people do not think." (Quoted in Alice Miller's For Your Own Good - Hidden Cruelty in Child-rearing and the Roots of Violence.)

The following are abstracts from newspapers local to Roslyn, NY, detailing a scandal in their school district that is still unfolding. This could and is happening everywhere, yet people do not think about this because it is too depressing. It truly is good fortune for those running our schools that people do not begin to suspect financial corruption. One of the primary reasons few have any data about wrongdoing is that our clever administrators and boards surround themselves with people cut from the same cloth, who will not report their fellow thief less they are caught. Dedicated teachers are their worst nightmare, thus we are fanatically abused and driven out of the system. To the degree you see abused teachers in your district, know that there is some type of illegal activity precipitating the need to dispose of staff with ethics stronger than their fear of reprisal for reporting wrongdoing. Read through this saga and you will see how this system works. The public's choice is to deny this is happening and allow their children's education to be pilfered along with our tax dollars or to become wise to what is happening and help us build a voice.



Roslyn School District Scandal - 25 Abstracts

1-Roslyn Scandal
By Victor Manuel and Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
April 20, 2004
Abstract
A scandal in Roslyn, New York school district uncovers an alleged $250,000 (further investigation may indicate $1,000,000 alleged in an anonymous letter sent to district) stolen from district by chief financial advisor, Pamela Gluckin, who was forced to retire. Superintendent Frank Tassone and Board of Education come under fire by residents for not pursuing criminal charges and for concealing theft for nearly 2 years (theft uncovered by district in 2002). With elections coming up, residents reconsider whether they want same officials running school.

2-Election outcome in doubt amid probe
By Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
May 11, 2004
Abstract
A school used to having high SAT ratings getting them attention now are investigating at least $250,000 stolen from district by chief financial advisor Pamela Gluckin, a woman well liked by the school community and respected for her good work in her 12 years in the district. She owned several properties and was seen driving a Jaguar. Suspicion arose after an employee of a constructions supplies store reported a great deal of activity from the school district "If we knew everything then that we know now ... there is no question that we would have followed a different course," Tassone (school superintendent) recently told the board. "In retrospect, we know we made a mistake."

Board received money back within a month and ceased investigation. " It was, board members now concede, a costly miscalculation." After retirement, more fraud was uncovered. Gluckin allegedly used phony companies, which listed her as the owner and her home address as the companies primary address.

3-Judge orders $1M to escrow in schools case
By Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
May 18, 2004
Abstract
Gluckin ordered to provide bank statements and financial records by judge in lawsuit filed against her. County district attorney is also investigating allegations.

4-Roslyn budget rejected after scandal
By Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
May 19, 2004
Abstract
Voters reject school proposed $82 million budget after scandal involving Gluckin. This is the first time in 23 years that the budget has been rejected in "affluent district". Numbers of voters boosted due to scandal.

5-Millions more in Roslyn school funds may be missing
By Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
May 27, 2004
Abstract
Board fires auditors and attorneys after surprise revelation at meeting and hire new accounting firm to investigate; board vice president Michael Barkan, 59 quits after it comes out that there may be many more people involved in theft from the school district with dollar amounts in the millions. Barkon offered no comments on reasons for resignation. "School Board President William Costigan said its external auditor, Miller, Lilly & Pearce, told him almost two weeks ago that its forensic audit of the district's books had recently uncovered several million dollars' worth of questionable expenditures."

6-School board delays budget decision
By Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
May 28, 2004
Abstract
Angry parents reject budget proposal. Budget must be delayed. School will have to go on an austerity budget and remain there for the year if voters reject the lower $79.7 million. Community worries about the extra-curricular programs which will suffer from the budget cuts. Board President announces millions have been stolen in past 12 years and that new auditors and attorneys will investigate. Nassau County district attorney is also investigating. ' "We all feel betrayed," said Kim Hunter, a mother of three Roslyn students. "But if we come together as a community and ... fight this budget thing through we can come up with something that doesn't hurt children." '

7-Attorneys Caught in fallout from scandal
By Carla Schuster
Staff Writer
May, 29 2004
Abstract
Roslyn school districts' attorneys of over a decade, Jaspan Schlesinger Hoffman, reportedly would not give written statement to the school board that they did not need to report alleged embezzlement. This firms contract with the school has not been renewed. School board chose to follow advice of lawyer Thomas Hession who told them they had no legal obligations.

8-More could be charged in school embezzlement case
By Karla Schuster
Staff writer; Staff writers Chau Lam and Joseph Mallia contributed to this story.
June 2, 2004
Abstract
"Sources close to the case say that $7.8 million worth of suspicious expenditures have been identified, although some of the transactions may prove to be legitimate." DA to focus investigation on whether Gluckin's family or other school employees have benefited or were involved in the alleged theft. State comptroller launches audit of district. Gluckin pleads not guilty to one count of first degree larceny and sister and brother-in-law post bail. Alleged methods of embezzlement include phony companies, fraudulent checks, use of district credit cards for personal items. Gluckin also allegedly altered computer records and destroyed documents that would implicate her. Gluckin owning 4 homes and luxury cars.

9-State should save Roslyn
By Paul Vitello
June 3, 2004
Abstract
Roslyn compared to poorest school in state and compares charges against Roslyn with charges of child neglect against poor school, Roosevelt.

10-Flaws fed the scandal
By Karla Schuster and Joseph Mallia
Staff Writers
June 3, 2004
Abstract
Took auditors years to detect theft. Gluckin allowed to return to work at least one day after being confronted by board. Sharp decline in state funding for auditing in 1970's never reversed. Estimated one audit every 10 years since the cutbacks - districts are expected to audit themselves. Firm that worked for school says they are re-examining procedures.

11-New twist to Roslyn schools money scandal
By Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
June 4, 2004
Abstract
Roslyn schools awarded contract to company whose owner shares same address as Superintendent. Company's website lists only a post office box and phone numbers. Company paid at least several hundred thousand dollars over past few years. Connection between Tassone and owner of company Stephen Signorelli being investigated by district. School's new assistant superintendent for business Anthony Annunziato. District "very troubled" by this discovery and have turned over its records about company, called WordPower, to DA's office. School board conferring with lawyers to move Tassone from superintendent post through re-assignment or administrative leave. Neither Tassone or Signorelli gave comments. Residents and parents pack board meetings "demanding resignations and firings of board members and various school officials.

12-A new blow to battered district
By Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
June 5, 2004
Abstract
Superintendent Tassone suspended by board through letter on Thursday night. He did not return calls on Friday. Company with same address as Tassone's home was paid approx. $800K in district money. Many parents who worked with Tassone felt a sense of personal betrayal. People wonder whether top academic reputation of school will suffer. Assistant Superintendent for instruction to temporarily replace Tassone. ' " Everyone felt Dr. Tassone was an excellent educational leader, but obviously we were all being duped,"Costigan'. Gluckin's niece, who worked as an accounts payable clerk under her aunt, also suspended, officials give no explanation. Board brings back all computers, desks, etc. that were given to board members by the district. Some residents urge the entire board to resign.

13-Inquiry gets wider
By Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
June 6, 2004
Abstract
District investigating purchases of Jeeps and cell phones for employees and board members without board approval. Jeeps purchased from dealership where Gluckin's husband was once employed. Harvey Gluckin has "no recollection" of selling to Roslyn district.
$20K purchase order to company WordPlus submitted but later voided for unknown reasons.

14-Roslyn money probe swells to $7.8 million
By Karla Schuster and Eden Laikin
Staff Writers
June 8, 2004
Abstract
Hotels, cars, gourmet food, dry-cleaning all suspicious payments detected by former auditor. Many suspicious payments are being uncovered relating to Gluckin, some of her family members, and Tassone. Also more evidence of concealed payments.

15-Roslyn school probe
By Keiko Morris
Staff Writer
June 11, 2004
Abstract
Tassone sends a letter of resignation to board which is read out loud to many parents and residents at Thursday board meeting. Board votes to send information about Tassone's actions to State Education Department to prevent him from ever working in the state school system. Board president says district will not pay "lump sum" separation payment of at least $200k which is part of Tassone's contract. Tassone may have license revoked.

16-LI lawmakers move for closer school scrutiny

By Dionne Searcey
Albany Bureau
June 15, 2004
Abstract
Law makers propose laws that would "require more careful scrutiny of school finances"; more auditing of schools. Sen. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) files a bill that would create an Office of School Inspector General that would audit districts unannounced, at lease 6 Long Island schools per/year. Two other Senators offer proposals to watch schools' finances more carefully.

17-Damage control
This story was reported by Bob Fresco, Erik Holm, Bart Jones, Nedra Rhone and Olivia Winslow and written by Bob Fresco and Steve Wick
June 17, 2004
Abstract
Only 14 Districts on Long Island audited in the past 5 years. Schools are going into damage control in response to Roslyn. May 04 budget rejected at 45 out of 124 Long Island schools. Auditors select schools that have financial or academic problems that have caused controversy to audit- according to interviews. Only one review in system-once a year audit by accounting firm paid by the school district. These firms have no legal obligation to report wrongdoing to state of law enforcement. Instead they give findings to school board-to make them public.
Two accountants say that Roslyn disclosures were "profoundly upsetting". Other area schools describe their checks and balances system. East Meadow school's assistant superintendent for finance and administration says that the external auditors that all the schools have can only uncover as much as the board is willing to be open with them about funds. Information about scandal involving superintendent of Three Village District not far from Roslyn.

18-Roslyn Schools Paid $56,000 to Diet Doctor of Its Chief
By Michelle O'Donnell
June, 17 2004
Abstract
Superintendent went to Dr. Stephan Lamm to lose weight which he allegedly used district money for. Doctor would not disclose any information and Tassone's lawyer declined to comment. Tassone's employment contract gave him $5k for medical care beyond what the insurance would pay. Residents angry saying that the "lax" financial structure of the school caused the scandal in part.

19-Second school board member resigns
By Karla Schuster
Staff Writer
June 24, 2004
Abstract
Board member Ellen Siegel resigns from the board and the 600 attendees of the meeting applaud when the board president read her letter of resignation out loud. Seigel who has been under fire for accepting perks from the district in light of the scandal could not be reached for comment. She is the 2nd member to resign, Michael Barkan resigned one month earlier without explanation. He also could not be reached for comment. The reading of Seigel's letter incited parents to challenge another board member Pat Schissel who received similar perks to Seigel, according to the records Schissel did not directly respond to question about her own stealing. Parents questioned president of the board who said he would finish out the year and that he would like to regain the confidence of the community.

20-All school districts should respond to Roslyn scandal
June 24, 2004 From Amityville Record:
Abstract
Problem in Roslyn district is that the person who stole the money from the school is the person who has to sign the checks and has no one above to authorize her activity. Article suggests ways to help ensure that thievery does not occur in other districts. Suggestions include public, detailed budget meetings, that the public should go to. Make the public confident in district spending.

21-Questions on expenses
Staff Writer
June 26, 2004
Abstract
Hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel during Tassone's tenure. More than 400k on at travel agencies and more than 100k each to limousine services and gas. District could account for 12 of 29 gas cards it distributed. Almost daily, more irregularities are being discovered by investigators. Expenses for conferences, that were paid for by the district, appear to either not have happened or were cancelled prior to attendance. High School principal may have been involved in these fake conferences, but he denies his involvement as does maintenance supervisor. Reportedly, a administrator with a heart condition got a hired car to drive him to and from work; he says it was approved by the board. President says he never approved this. Board president says he feels "duped".

22-In Free-Spending Roslyn Schools, Missing Money Isn't Easy to Find
June 27, 2004
By Kevin Flynn
This article was reported by Kevin Flynn, Michelle O'Donnell and Stacy Albin and written by Mr. Flynn.
Abstract
Districts' "Big Spending" detailed. From facility parties to flowers and gift baskets sent to families in town who had just lost a relative, and many more extras - all paid for by the district. Parents concerned by something so big being hidden from a school of highly educated and intelligent people. Board also sues Gluckin to regain more of the allegedly stolen money. More businesses report that they charged less money to the district for their services than the records the school has on the payments made to the businesses.

23-School Theft Case Raises Questions of Political Ties
By Karla Schuster, Theresa Vargas, & Eden Laikin
Staff Writers
Abstract
Debra Rigano, a Roslyn school business clerk, and niece of Pamela Gluckin, also worked for a travel agency where she made commission off sales. School booked many trips through the agency that Rigano worked for. Rigano took the agent job while still employed by Roslyn. State law bans public employees from having a financial interest in companies doing business with their agency. Rigano also received approx. $50,000 in stipend this year for booking travel for the district. Board president said these stipends were not approved.
Further details on travel expenses.

24-Politicians, residents want greater scrutiny of Long Island school district spending
From Long Island News, 12
July 6, 2004
Abstract
General distaste with district use of funds in Long Island. Describes the reason that board member Siegal resigned- a alleged $16,000 in district funds for her personal use. Seems like a summary of the articles already included, maybe it should not be included, you make the final call.

25-DA says: Roslyn chief was a thief
By Karla Schuster, Theresa Vargas and Eden Laikin
Staff Writers
July 7, 2004
Abstract
Superintendent charged yesterday with first degree grand larceny for allegedly stealing more than a million dollars from Roslyn district. This amount is from 2000 to 2002. Authorities say that their could be up to 20 people involved. Charges of enterprise corruption are being considered. Within hours of Tassones arrest another employee was announced to be suspended with pay. "There was an organized conspiracy here to defraud the district of millions of dollars," said school board President William Costigan. "It's beyond what you would ever imagine in your wildest dreams."


These systemwide factors drove NY to choose four districts for full-blown audits.


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