September 28, 2005

LinkNews Digest [09/28/2005]

An early edition this week, since the Kerns are off to DisneyWorld tomorrow!

NY Superintendant Used School as ATM

MINEOLA, N.Y. - For years, ex-Roslyn schools chief Frank Tassone admitted, he stole millions of dollars in taxpayer money to finance everything from his breakfast bagel to European jaunts on the Concorde. His next big journey on the taxpayers' dime will be to prison.

Tassone, 58, of Manhattan pleaded guilty Monday to first- and second-degree grand larceny before Nassau County Judge Alan Honorof in a scandal that state Comptroller Alan Hevesi has called "the largest, most remarkable, most extraordinary theft" from a school system in American history.

As part of a plea bargain, Tassone will spend four to 12 years in prison and pay back an estimated $2 million. If convicted at trial, he could have faced 25 years. Four other people have been charged. Prosecutors have said they anticipate further arrests, and Tassone will cooperate in the continuing investigation as part of his plea deal, District Attorney Denis Dillon said.

An audit by Hevesi earlier this year found that $11.2 million had been pilfered between 1996 and 2004, although prosecutors have been able to link slightly less than $7 million to the current defendants.

The $2 million taken by Tassone paid for flights aboard the Concorde for vacations in England, cruises, hotel and resort accommodations, dermatology treatments, furniture, jewelry and meals. More than $1 million allegedly was stolen via ATM cash advances, and prosecutors said the defendants even had their dry cleaning and cable TV bills picked up by taxpayers. (LINK)
He and his cronies stole $11 Million from the school distrinct, living like Hiltons for 8 years on the taxpayers dime. All the while, he told the schools to tighten their budgets and cut art & music programs. And for this, his plea deal nets him a fine and 4 years in jail? To hell with that. Seize his assets, sell them in a school garage sale and make him work as a substitute teacher in the worst NY district for 10 years. How's that karma bite you?

Prague's Pissing Statues

While they are peeing, the two figures move realistically. An electric mechanism driven by a couple of microprocessors swivels the upper part of the body, while the penis goes up and down. The stream of water writes quotes from famous Prague residents.
Visitor can interupt them by sending SMS message from mobile phone to a number, displayed next to the sculptures. The living statue then 'writes' the text of the message, before carrying on as before. (LINK)

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