The son of former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro is spending his four-month prison term for selling cocaine in a $1,500-a-month apartment in Vermont with maid service and cable TV, a newspaper says.
John Zaccaro Jr. is staying in one of 12 units in a building designed for expense-account business people on short assignments in Burlington, according to Sunday's Daily News."We like to think of it as a cross between an apartment and a hotel, with the advantages of both," a spokeswoman for the building's owners told the newspaper.
Addison County State's Attorney John Quinn, who prosecuted Zaccaro, took a dimmer view: "This guy is a drug felon and he's living in conditions that 99.9 percent of the people of Vermont couldn't afford."
Zaccaro, 24, was convicted in April of selling a quarter-gram of cocaine to an undercover police officer while a student at Middlebury College in 1986. Judge Francis McCaffrey sentenced him to one-to-five years in prison, with all but four months suspended.
Zaccaro was determined eligible for the state Corrections Department's "house arrest" program, under which non-violent convicts can find their own housing and live under what is said to be close supervision by corrections officials.
"The department doesn't provide the apartment," said John Perry, director of planning for corrections. "The prisoner does that. We are only concerned that it meets minimum standards - no drugs, no guns, no college kids hanging around.
"Obviously, some people - Mr. Zaccaro among them - have more money than others, and they can afford a better place. The Aga Khan probably wouldn't think much of his apartment. It's a matter of standards of living. And we are not paying for it so we can't decide a place is too luxurious if it meets the other criteria."
Corrections officials, however, did say there was concern that dissatisfaction in the law enforcement community with the comfortable way in which Zaccaro is serving time may threaten the future of the house arrest program.