BURLINGTON, Vt. -- John Zaccaro Jr., convicted of selling cocaine, ended his jail term 30 days early Wednesday after serving 90 days under house arrest in a posh apartment, state officials said.
Zaccaro's parents, John Zaccaro Sr. and Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee, picked him up at a Burlington probation center to return him to New York City, said Joan Mollica, who runs the house arrest program.
'I think he's pleased this part's over. He really did lose a lot,' she said of Zaccaro's sentence, which was widely criticized as being too lenient.
Zaccaro, 24, met with a probation officer at about 7:30 a.m. EDT and passed an alcohol-detection test at the probation center, Deputy Corrections Department Commissioner Thomas Perras said.
He left shortly thereafter with his parents, Mollica said.
Both officials said Zaccaro seemed relieved his sentence was over.
Perras said Zaccaro served only 90 days of the 120-day sentence because he was given credit for 'good time.' Zaccaro began the sentence July 1. Under Vermont law, a prisoner's sentence can be reduced 10 days for every 30 days served.
Zaccaro was sentenced in June to four months in jail for selling $25 worth of cocaine to an undercover police officer in 1986 while he was a student at Middlebury College.
State corrections officials came under fire when it was learned Zaccaro had been placed in an experimental house arrest program and was serving his jail term in a luxury $1,500-a-month Burlington apartment equipped with a color televison and maid service. He spent less than 30 minutes at a Burlington correctional facility before being placed in the apartment.
Inmates pay for their accommodations in the house arrest program, which is designed to ease overcrowding in Vermont jails.
The prosecutor in the case, John Quinn, called the decision to place Zaccaro in the house arrest program 'outrageous,' and Gov. Madeleine Kunin, after initially defending the program, later closed the house arrest program to drug offenders.
Kunin said Wednesday that Zaccaro's release was 'the end of a chapter' and that the furor over his accommodations 'in a strange way made it (the house arrest program) a better program.'
Perras said Zaccaro completed the house arrest program 'without any violations.'
Zaccaro will be under indefinite probation, however, which will include a requirement that he undergo periodic urinalysis testing, Perras said.
As part of the sentence, Zaccaro also was required to perform 300 hours of community service. Perras said Zaccaro actually completed more than 530 hours of community service at a Burlington youth center.
He was also required to pay a fine of $1,500 or make a donation of that amount to a charitable organization. Perras said Zaccaro chose the latter option, donating the money to a Burlington youth program.