Chatter about get-out-of-jail-free cards in Nassau County has been brought into laserlike focus with the bizarre case of Andrew Quattrone, who pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation of two 14-year-old girls [“Ill inmate given house arrest,” News, April 21].
It appears that Nassau County officials have put the county’s finances over its public safety.
A respected county court judge recently canceled Quattrone’s $500,000 bail, and released him on his own recognizance, due in part to the high cost of jailing Quattrone, who suffers from acute lymphocytic leukemia and requires 24-hour medical care. He will wear a GPS monitoring bracelet. This is a sad day, especially when the prosecutor called this man a “danger to children” and a “risk to society.”
Public safety is every government’s most important function; there can be no exceptions. Perhaps our state officials should get to work and make it illegal for a judge to factor in the cost of incarceration when making a bail decision.
Jeff Toback, Long Beach
Editor’s note: The writer was a Nassau County legislator from 2000 through 2009.