Rooting out Public Corruption
In Kathleen’s view, public corruption can be nearly as detrimental to the fabric of a community as the impact of violent crime. When public officials violate our trust, Kathleen believes they must suffer the same harsh consequences afforded to any street-level criminal. One of the primary reasons Kathleen chose to run for office was to address what she viewed as a shocking lack of equity and priority in the handling of these important investigations and cases. As a former federal prosecutor who handled several high-profile corruption cases for the U.S. Department of Justice, Kathleen knows how to build a case from the original tip all the way to the courtroom. More importantly, Kathleen’s career has proven that she is unafraid to follow the facts wherever they lead and whomever they implicate.
After taking office in 2006, Kathleen devoted much of her first year to reorganizing and strengthening the office’s Public Corruption Bureau. In 2007, these resources and Kathleen’s leadership led to the takedown of a sweeping corruption ring in the building department of one of Nassau's three town governments. In addition to convictions and jail sentences, Kathleen’s investigation led to sweeping reform of a local government’s buildings department and it served as an early indication that her administration viewed violations of the public's trust as violations of criminal law.
The years that followed saw the arrests and convictions of more than 80 government employees, professionals, law-enforcement personnel and others guilty of abusing the public’s trust, including the 2012 conviction of several former public officials involved in a property development bribery scheme in one of Nassau's most blighted communities. Kathleen’s record of political independence and of rooting out public corruption led the Long Island Press to dub her Nassau’s “Eliot Ness.”