Heiress again accused of assaulting a nanny

Posted: May 24, 2007

Susan Tabas Tepper may have struck again.

The Villanova heiress, who smacked her children's nanny with a bag of carrots last May, was charged yesterday with roughing up another one, along with the woman's 9-year-old daughter.

Tepper, 45, faces two counts of simple assault and harassment - the same charges on which she was sentenced in February to a year's probation, $2,800 in fines, community service and anger-management classes after hurling the vegetables and a telephone handset at her Venezuelan nanny.

The hot-headed socialite was taken to Montgomery County prison yesterday afternoon, and could spend "at least several weeks" there before her probation-violation hearing, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor said.

Tepper is accused of scratching the face of new nanny Urszula Kordzior and pushing her to the ground Sunday night as the woman tried to leave Tepper's Eagle View estate on Spring Mill Road. When Kordzior's daughter attempted to intervene, Tepper pushed her too, according to court documents.

Tepper denied the allegations, according to 6ABC, and said they were fabricated by a disgruntled employee.

While she avoided a jail sentence before, the former president of the Philadelphia Polo Club might not be so lucky this time. The probation violation, which Castor termed the most serious of the alleged offenses, carries up to a year in prison. The assault charges, all misdemeanors, also could involve jail time.

"Without a doubt, we'll be seeking jail time," Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney John Gradel said. "She's accused of basically the same conduct for which she received probation the first time."

A confrontation

According to Lower Merion police, the incident took place at 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Kordzior alleged that Tepper, who she said had been drinking, became angry and blocked the door.

The mother of four, ages 2 to 13, followed her employee outside. She demanded that the nanny return the keys to the car that Tepper had provided her, according to the police report. Then she scratched the left side of Kordzior's face and lip with her hand and shoved her down.

When Kordzior's daughter, Maja, approached and asked Tepper not to hurt her mother, Tepper called her a "bitch" and shoved her aside, according to police.

The nanny, who police said spoke with a foreign accent, was treated for her injuries at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Tepper said yesterday that she was the real victim.

"My boyfriend was present the entire time. Nothing happened," Tepper told 6ABC.

"This is based on malice because [Kordzior] was being let go and she was trying to steal my car," she said.

Tepper also issued a plea: "I hope my family and friends will help me this time," she told NBC10.

Tepper's attorney, Marc Steinberg, had not yet talked to his client yesterday afternoon, but expected to see her in jail last night. One of Tepper's children is being treated for cancer at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Steinberg said. She shares custody of the children with her former husband, Kenneth Tepper.

Before being taken to Montgomery County prison in Eagleville, Tepper attended a preliminary hearing on the new charges before District Justice Kathleen Valentine in Ardmore. She posted 10 percent of $10,000 bail.

Bail sought

Steinberg said he would try to get a hearing on the probation charge, but Castor said it was unlikely that any judge would grant Tepper bail. "Our office will oppose it," Castor said.

Tepper's first brush with the law stemmed from a May 21, 2006, incident in which Xiomara Salinas said her employer became enraged over a messy refrigerator. After hurling the carrots at her, Tepper hit Salinas on the head with the phone, pulled her hair, broke her glasses and tried to push her down the stairs.

As Salinas was leaving, Tepper grabbed her purse and took out $800.

The daughter of the late Daniel M. Tabas, a hotelier and chairman of Royal Bank, could have been sentenced to a year in prison. Charges of robbery were dropped when she agreed to waive her hearing on the assault and harassment charges.

Steinberg said he believed Tepper had paid her fine and completed community service, but he was unsure whether the anger-management classes had been scheduled yet.

Contact staff writer Kathy Boccella at 610-313-8123 or kboccella@phillynews.com.

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