Ex-Oyster Bay officials face judge on several charges

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WOODBURY -

Former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and several other former town officials accused of corruption appeared before a judge on Wednesday.

Venditto, who had nothing to say as he left Nassau County court, and six others are accused in several corruption schemes.

According to Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas, the owners of an Old Bethpage paving company paid former town planning commissioner Fred Ippolito $1.6 million in exchange for approval to build a senior housing development.

"It was a huge breech of the public trust," Singas said. "That's something we take seriously. Tax dollars should be protected."

Ippolito has since died, and charges against him were dropped Wednesday.

But the attorney for Marissa Lizza, one of the company's owners, told News 12 that his client did nothing wrong.

"I don't think there's a case against my client, but that's all I can really say right now," said defense attorney Marc Gann.

It was decided in court Wednesday that prosecutors would turn over evidence, including audio recordings and photographs, to the defendants' legal teams. Other charges allege improper hiring practices and using a town crew to fix a connected resident's sidewalk at no charge.

The defendants have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Another conference between the two sides is scheduled for Nov. 1.

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