Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Wanker Of The Day: Principal Crackjob

Florida middle school principal Anthony Giancola's career went up in smoke after he became hooked on smoking crack cocaine and marijuana:
TAMPA - Anthony Giancola, the former principal of Van Buren Middle School, first tasted crack cocaine sometime before the school's Christmas break. Just like that, he was hooked.

He told police in an interview released Wednesday that he easily spent $400 to $600 a day to keep his crack cocaine habit going. It was the stress over his marriage and finances that led him to do the drug, Giancola, 40, told police.

"I liked the fact it didn't make me worry about all the stuff that I was worried about," Giancola told police. "Actually, it kept me up and it was not a bad up. And then it just got worse and worse and worse."

The Feb. 22 interview gives insight into how Giancola's drug abuse spiraled out of control, culminating in a drug deal inside the Van Buren principal's office.

He told police he first tried crack cocaine in December when a person he had just met asked him if he wanted to freebase. He told police he got hooked immediately.

That was when he started buying large amounts to use and share with friends, he said in a separate interview Wednesday with News Channel 8.

Giancola was arrested in February minutes after buying a $20 crack rock from an undercover Tampa police officer.

He pleaded guilty to purchasing crack cocaine, possessing crack cocaine and possessing marijuana.

Giancola was sentenced Tuesday to 364 days in jail and three years probation. He must report to jail by June 30. If he completes an in-jail drug treatment program, the remainder of his sentence will be suspended. He also has to forfeit his teaching certificate.

An informant tipped off police about the principal of Van Buren being interested in buying cocaine. In a taped conversation released by police, Giancola and the informant arrange to meet at the principal's office so he could buy $20 worth of crack.

"Just 20, that's all I got," Giancola is heard telling the confidential informant. "I cashed in my change. I'm so [expletive] broke."

Police, in the taped interview, asked Giancola what had brought him to this point and whether he had ever partied or smoked crack in the school. Giancola said he had drugs in his pocket one time, but he never smoked during work.

Giancola did cocaine with prostitutes at local motels, although he never had sex with them, he told police. He declined to comment about it during the interview with News Channel 8.

Giancola told News Channel 8 his biggest regret was letting down his students, teachers, wife and family: "It was very difficult to deal with. They all stood by me."
See a hidden-camera video tape of Giancola's career ending arrest over there.

I saw an interview of Giancola on CNN this morning. He indicated that after he has served his sentence, he would like to return to public education as a public example counselor
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