HBO's new film “Bad Education” depicts the dramatic fall of two Long Island school administrators: Roslyn School District superintendent Frank Tassone, played by Hugh Jackman, and his assistant superintendent and business administrator Pamela Gluckin, played by Allison Janney.
While Tassone and Gluckin put on a good front and led one of the nation's top school districts, they were embezzling taxpayer money for their own benefit. In the film, the school’s roof continued to leak as Gluckin and Tassone lived large in luxurious houses and wore expensive clothes.
When Gluckin’s embezzling came to light, Tassone threw her under the bus and forced her to resign and lose her license. While he let those at the school administration’s core believe she was a thief, the students were told she was sick.
However, a determined reporter at the school’s newspaper — Rachel Bhargava, played by Geraldine Viswanathan — soon uncovered the embezzlement scheme which led to both Tassone and Gluckin’s 2004 arrests.
The real Tassone stole $2.2 million from the school district, Newsday reported in 2008. That money went to Tassone's lavish meals, trips, dry cleaning, gambling stints, and even weight loss surgery, according to Vanity Fair. Gluckin, played by Allison Janney in the film, admitted to stealing $4.3 million which went to everything ranging from trips to her daughter’s college tuition. In fact, together they created “the largest, most remarkable, most extraordinary theft” from a school system “in American history,” the New York Times reported in 2005. A total of $11 million was stolen in all.
Where are they now?
Tassone was sentenced in 2006 to four to 12 years in prison for larceny. He was released early in 2010after exhibiting "good behavior and completing rehabilitative programs while incarcerated," Newsday reported at the time. He was put on probation until 2018. He’s not allowed to work any job which would allow him to be responsible for money.
It doesn’t seem like he’ll be hurting for money anytime soon, though. As the film points out, due to a "New York State pension law oversight" he still collects $173,495.04 a year. He will be getting this money for the rest of his life.
He has repaid the money he stole.
His domestic partner Stephen Signorelli, who also took part in the scheme, was sentenced to one to three years in prison in 2006, the New York Times reported at the time.
Tassone, now 73, said in an exclusive interview on “The Coach Mike Podcast” that he was dreading the release of “Bad Education.”
“I’m afraid of seeing myself portrayed as being a liar and a cheat and a thief — and I was a thief, no question,” he said on the podcast.
When he learned that his past was going to be revisited in movie form, he became distraught.
“I just crumbled,” Tassone revealed on the podcast. “I thought, ‘My god, I thought this finally was over.’ It’ll never be over for me. Every day I feel pain.”
He told the podcast host that he's now living a quiet life in New York with Signorelli, whom he's been with for 45 years.
Gluckin was sentenced to 3 to 9 years in September 2006 for larceny. She was released in 2011, Newsday reported at the time. She remained on parole until 2015. By 2011, she reportedly repaid about half the sum of what she embezzled.
While in prison, Gluckin still received a $55,000 annual pension from the Roslyn school district, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported in 2008. She will continue to receive this money until the end of her life. Gluckin pledged in 2011 to give half her state pension to Roslyn per year to repay what she stole. It's unclear how long she did that for.
"She has paid her debt to her society. She is doing what she is supposed to being doing pursuant to her parole and she intends to acclimate herself back into society and be productive," her attorney Victor Mevorah told the outlet at the time. "She's very remorseful and she is very embarrassed and she can't believe it happened and she wants to make amends."
She was living in the Long Island town of Seaford while working for a nonprofit in Queens, Newsday reported in 2011. She was not allowed to have access any work related credit cards or checking account as a result of her crimes. Gluckin kept a low profile following her release.
Gluckin died in 2017, HBO told Oxygen.com.
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