Mr. Bill Costigan was elected to be the fiscal watchdog for the taxpayers and students of the Roslyn School District. He was made president of the board of education.
After reading his letter in the Nov. 2 edition of The Roslyn News, I feel a response is necessary.
I agree it is ironic that the kind of practices Alan Hevesi investigated are of the very same type of which he himself is accused of.
However, although Mr. Costigan never personally profited from his position on the BOE, I find ironic and a bit hypocritical as well, that he should be critical of Mr. Hevesi. Perhaps it is a bit of vengeful satisfaction because of the blame Mr. Hevesi put on Mr. Costigan and the BOE for their lack of fiscal responsibility.
Mr. Costigan, on a smaller scale, had the fiduciary responsibility for safeguarding the taxpayers' money and seeing that it was spent on education and not Frank Tassone's dry cleaning.
What I found most disturbing was not just the theft, but the BOE's reaction to it. I read that the BOE did not report Pamela Glucken's theft of $250,000 to law enforcement. It was a cover-up, pure and simple. Had it not been for an anonymous letter, the actual theft of $11 million would never have come to light.
And strangely enough, throughout Tassone's reign the money was never missed by the BOE, which was charged with knowing how the money was spent.
When I questioned the cover-up, Dr. Tassone called my husband and myself into his office. His reasons for not reporting the crime were smooth and slick, made little sense to us, and were a poor example for students. Of course, we now know why he did not want this reported. We were not taken in by his smooth talk and cannot understand how our BOE was. Nor how Mr. Costigan and the BOE covered up a crime of such magnitude.
Also at one of the early board meetings, I suggested to Mr. Costigan that he call in the State Comptroller. He said "he would take it under advisement." At the next meeting he said he would not ask Mr. Hevesi to come in and do a forensic audit. I found this very disturbing.
I had already started by calling Hevesi's director of Investigations, Louis Hernandez, in New York City.
After many communications by phone and fax, he advised me that he had spoken to Deputy Comptroller Brackman and instructed me to send all my information to him.
My neighbor Karen Zuckerman was concerned enough to assist me and fax everything to Deputy Comptroller Brackman for me.
Right before Memorial Day, Mr. Brackman called to tell me that Comptroller Hevesi was going to issue a press release right after the holiday weekend that he was coming in to conduct a forensic audit.
So setting the record straight is very important when someone who did not take fiscal responsibility for the taxpayers' funds, allowed a theft of such magnitude under his watch, did not report the crime and refused to contact the comptroller to do a forensic audit has the chutzpah to criticize the comptroller.
He wants Hevesi's office to have a forensic audit, but was the one who refused to have the same done for the Roslyn School District.