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$7.8 Million in School Payments Face Scrutiny

Investigation of New York district questions items such as $33,000 in dry cleaning.

June 08, 2004|From Newsday

NEW YORK — From cars and computers to dry-cleaning and groceries -- no personal expense was too big, or too small, to be charged to the Roslyn, N.Y., public schools, according to records obtained by Newsday and sources close to an investigation into alleged embezzlement by school officials.

A list of $7.8 million worth of suspicious transactions compiled by Roslyn's former auditor identifies payments that include $33,141.31 to a dry cleaner used by former Supt. Frank Tassone, $30,605.58 to a gourmet market not far from where former chief financial officer Pamela Gluckin once lived, $187,377.74 to car dealerships and financing companies and $551,569.21 to four companies owned by Gluckin or her husband, Harvey.

Gluckin has been charged with embezzling more than $1 million from the district on Long Island, and prosecutors say their investigation could lead to Gluckin's relatives, or other school officials, being charged. Tassone has been suspended with pay while the district investigates whether he is also involved.

School officials have said that they are investigating how much of the spending on the $7.8-million list represents misappropriated funds, and if any of the expenses are legitimate.

The expenses on the list, for which there are no bills or other backup materials, were paid during Gluckin's tenure with the district between 1990 and 2002.

School board President William Costigan said the board did not know about any of the payments on the list until "very recently," when the tally was submitted to the board and the Nassau County district attorney's office by Roslyn's former auditor, Miller, Lilly & Pearce.

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