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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Nassau thoughts on food for inmates

The Nassau County Legislature has approved a new contract for groceries at the county jail — but not before administering a few politically safe kicks to jail inmates.

The approval came Monday, two weeks after Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt, a Massapequa Republican, tabled the $204,551 contract because jail officials appearing before the Rules Committee could not explain why they wanted to buy fruits, dessert, tapioca, rice pudding, tapioca pudding, nine different types of salad dressing, stuffed olives, croutons, nine different types of pasta, and cereals.

Acting Sheriff Michael Sposato sent another assistant to this Monday’s meeting.

“Purchases we made on the blanket order such as cake, brownies, are minimal and they are provided to our correctional staff,” the assistant testified. “They (staff) are not allowed to leave for a meal period. We are required to provide them with a meal ... These items are not provided to inmates.”

Schmitt suggested that the sheriff submit better paperwork. “Would you please make a notation to save members of the Rules Committee a lot of aggravation and have it in the backup (material) what you just explained to us.”

A few legislators grumbled about inmates eating better than them, but Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) wondered aloud whether legislators were making too much of a fuss.

“If you give them a cookie here and there, I don’t know if there’s anything wrong,” she said at one point

“Why can’t they have a cookie?” she said in a low voice a few minutes later.

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