Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

School scandals and locomotives

On Long Island, ex Roslyn school superintendent Frank Tassone has pleaded guilty to his role in what may be the biggest school embezzlement scandal in New York's history. As part of his plea agreement, Tassone is turning over for the Nassau County District Attorney, and has already implicated his butt buddy Stephen Signorelli, a vendor with whom the school district had a sweetheart deal. Tassone will be sentenced to a maximum of 4 - 12 years by Judge Alan Honorof.

[Memo to Judge Honorof: Give Tassone as little jail time as possible! The longer he's in prison, the more he'll ENJOY all the freewheeling anal sex! That would defeat the whole purpose of sentencing him! Your courtroom will be packed with angry Roslyn taxpayers when you impose sentence. So just send all your court officers on a half-hour break and let Tassone walk! The people of Roslyn will be pleased to take care of Tassone themselves.]

In other Long Island school news (as reported in the 17 October 2005 issue of Newsday), "Hauppauge schools have run up a $5.6-million budget surplus while cutting student services and raising class sizes - a sore point among PTA leaders and others who wonder why they were not told of the accumulating windfall last spring when reductions were being planned."

These school districts are burning a hole in the wallets of the Long Island taxpayers! And don't bet the rent money that Roslyn and Hauppauge are the only Long Island schools with accounting irregularities.

I think that Robert Benchley had this whole thing correctly pegged nearly 70 years ago in his sketch entitled "The Lost Locomotive":

The day that Mr. MacGregor lost the locomotive was a confusing one for our accountants. They didn't know whom to charge it to.

"We have an account called 'Alterations,'" said the head accountant (Mr. MacGregor). "We might charge it to that. Losing a locomotive is certainly an alteration in something."

"I am afraid that you are whistling in the dark, Mr. MacGregor," I said quietly.

"The point is not what account we are going to charge the lost locomotive to," I continued. "It is how you happened to lose it."

"I have already told you," he replied, with a touch of asperity, "that I haven't the slightest idea. I was tired and nervous and -- well -- I lost it, that's all!"

"As a matter of fact," he snapped, "I am not at all sure that the locomotive is lost. And, if it is, I am not at all sure that I lost it."

[from Robert Benchley, "My Ten Years in a Quandry," page 1 (Blue Ribbon Books, New York, 1936)]

The late Mr. Benchley was prescient indeed!

And if the school districts on Long Island are into all this fiscal chicanery, then what about the Long Island Railroad?


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