8 indicted on public corruption charges in Town of Oyster Bay

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MINEOLA -

Former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and seven others were indicted Thursday in a massive public corruption investigation.

The eight people were named in three separate political corruption indictments. In all, they face 220 charges that involve alleged bribery, money laundering, a corrupt property deal and illegal favors. 

The unsealed indictment follows a lengthy investigation by Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas. She says Venditto essentially gave the "keys to the government" to Town of Oyster Bay Planning Commissioner Frederick Ippolito. Singas says Ippolito then cast a "web of corruption" over the town that allegedly included getting his girlfriend's son a town job at double the salary of other employees. 

When the couple broke up, Ippolito allegedly told town officials to "find five  [expletive]  heads and let them go" so no one would question the firing.

The indictment also alleges that Supervisor Venditto used $2.5 million in taxpayer money to buy a former asphalt plant owned by Carlo Lizza and Sons Paving Company on Engle Street in Hicksville.

In return, prosecutors say the owners of that paving company paid $1.6 million in bribes to Ippolito to facilitate the construction of larger senior housing development nearby. 

Ippolito, who pleaded guilty to a federal tax evasion charge last year, died in prison earlier this month. 

Venditto, who was also indicted in a separate federal corruption case, did not have any comment about the new charges against him. 

"Mr. Venditto plead not guilty today because he is not guilty," his attorney said. "He plans to fight these charges and we are confident he will prevail."

All seven who were arraigned pleaded not guilty and were released without having to post bail. 

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