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Abuse Of Public Trust: Vince Fumo Revisited

This is not another story about Vince Fumo. He’s old news waiting for sentencing.

This a story of a former surgeon general of the United States appointed by President George H.W. Bush, Dr. Antonia Novello. Last week she pleaded guilty to a felony in a deal with prosecutors to avoid prison time for having New York State employees  perform personal chores for her when she was the State of New York Health Commissioner  from 1999-2006. The guilty plea requires Dr. Novello to perform 250 hours of community service at a health clinic, pay $22,500 in restitution and pay a $5,000 fine.  She also pleaded guilty to filing a false document pertaining to her description of one of her employee’s duties.  She faced up to 12 years in prison if the plea had not been reached.

Novello had used state employees to provide free transportation for her on shopping trips and to perform various chores like moving furniture in her apartment.

Her lawyer said the prosecution was politically motivated.  I am sure she was appointed by  then President Bush because of her political leanings.  Nevertheless, when will politicians learn that they can’t use public funds in any fashion for their own private means?

Dr. Novello was paid $256,000 per year in her job as health Commissioner. Unemployment presently stands at 9.5% nationwide.  $256,000 per year was not enough for her?


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