Protecting Taxpayer Dollars
One of the most important things a district attorney can do is protect taxpayer dollars. Kathleen believes prosecutors can best do that by aggressively targeting people who steal these resources, and by forcing units of government to develop better ways to eliminate wasteful spending.
The social services we pay for and that our government provides to those in need are both critical and finite. When someone steals these resources, not only are taxpayers cheated, but there are also needy families who could go without this important help because of these frauds. These are some of the reasons why Kathleen has been so aggressive in rooting out social service fraud in Nassau County. She has convicted hundreds of individuals of scamming the system and she’s aggressive in seeking restitution for taxpayers when they are convicted in court.
Kathleen's work to eliminate the fraud in public assistance programs has included innovations, partnerships and a forward-thinking vision that has had a statewide impact. At the local level, Kathleen formed Nassau’s first-ever units devoted to investigating and prosecuting Medicaid and public assistance fraud. Kathleen then partnered with the New York State Attorney General to form a first-of-its-kind task force dedicated to rooting out fraud in the Medicaid program, and she lobbied Albany to provide more tools for district attorneys across the state to investigate Medicaid fraud in their communities. Kathleen's efforts have led to the convictions of hundreds of thieves and her prosecutions have secured millions of dollars in restitution for Nassau taxpayers.
Kathleen’s high-profile crackdowns on government corruption have also shed light on ways that government can make sure it isn’t wasting taxpayer dollars. Kathleen’s investigations have led to local government reforms that better safeguard taxdollars, and in many instances they have provided valuable transparency and efficiency blueprints to non-profit groups who receive public and charity dollars from Nassau residents.
Kathleen has also led by example. She has expanded the office’s practice of forcing convicted criminals to pay for the costs of their prosecution and she has aggressively sought forfeiture funds and fines from those who are convicted and who have profited from their crimes. These and other innovative measures, and Kathleen’s belief in fiscal responsibility, have allowed her to return money to the taxpayer and to successfully steward the office’s $30 million annual budget despite difficult economic times.