The arrest of Legislator Frank Sparaco on thirty-eight felony counts and two misdemeanors for the false filing and forgery of petitions comes as no great shock to anyone who has followed Rockland County politics.
Sparaco has long been maligned as the poster boy for all that is wrong in that realm. Allegations and accusations of corruption, patronage, treachery and dishonesty have followed him like a shadow everywhere he has set foot.
Yet, he somehow managed to skate away unscathed from it all until he made an ill-fated attempt earlier this year to take over the Clarkstown Republican Party. When the dust settled, even Sparaco had to realize what a terrible miscalculation he had made. In addition to taking a 191-13 overall beating, Sparaco himself was unable to win a committee seat in his own district. His political career had essentially come to its end. The fallout was so intense and widespread that even Sparaco had to know his days as a rising power broker were over. He was a pariah with nothing left to do but ride out the remainder of his term in the county legislature.
Things couldn’t have gone much worse; then, he was arrested.
Ironically, this development offers Sparaco a last chance to fulfill a promise. After covertly taping his conversations with several local officials in 2013, Sparaco released a highly edited version of the tapes to the FBI. In an article in The New York Post, Sparaco was quoted as saying:
“Political corruption in New York is occurring at every level and I could not stay silent as I saw it unfolding before me.”
Unfortunately, it seems his promise to expose corruption at every level turned out to be an empty one, as to date the only lasting damage done by these tapes has been to Sparaco’s credibility. With his arrest however, it is very possible that Sparaco is now in a position where fulfilling his promise can serve his own best interests as well as those of his family and the people of Rockland County.
If Sparaco does indeed have firsthand knowledge of corruption at every level, he needs to speak out now.
Providing an honest and complete account of any and all illegal and illicit activity in Rockland politics would be a true service to the public. Rather than being remembered as just another politician prosecuted for alleged criminal activity, Sparaco can be remembered for something far more remarkable. If Sparaco has the evidence, he can leave an unprecedented wake in his path foundering all boats of political corruption in Rockland. His testimony would undoubtedly help prosecute and unseat many elected officials and party leaders that may have been working against the interest of their constituents.
Frank Sparaco can be remembered as the one who took them all down.
Sparaco should tell investigators, and later the public, exactly what was in it for the Democrats and Republicans who flocked to his fundraisers in support of a certain Republican candidate for Highway Superintendent. He should tell everyone exactly what it took for both Republicans and Democrats to earn his Independence Party line. He should tell everyone what was promised or dealt in exchange for his Republican Party not to run a candidate against the Town Supervisor. He should tell everyone how $56K in donations almost resulted in a $4M giveaway to a transportation vendor. He should tell everyone how absentee ballots might be abused.
After he’s bared it all, the prosecutors can decide what is criminal and the voters can decide what is acceptable.
Sparaco has nothing left to lose; all bridges are already burned. There is no one left to protect him and his former political friends no longer want to be associated with him. All influence is gone. A once promising political career is in tatters and he is facing prison. But, he still has plenty to gain.
Mr. Sparaco: take them all down!
Spare no one that has it coming! Air each and every piece of dirty laundry that is left. Regardless of party or municipality, name and shame them all. Create a tidal wave of arrests that will actually make our county a better place than it might have been if you had never set foot in it. You didn’t invent corruption or patronage, but you can do more than any other individual in the history of Rockland County to end it.
It might be an ugly tune to sing, but the public needs to hear your song. Frank, you have the stage and the spotlight is on.
Sing, Frank, Sing!
Then you will have our applause and our eternal gratitude.