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Toms River School Board Reacts To Ritacco Guilty Plea [POLL]

Its a guilty plea for former Toms River Schools Superintendent Mike Ritacco.

East Dover  Intermediate School
East Dover Intermediate School in Toms River where Michael Ritacco began his career in the Toms River School District in 1971 as a teacher. (District photo)

Thursday morning he plead to two of the twenty-seven charges he was facing, mail fraud and conspiracy to impede the IRS.   Federal prosecutors claimed Ritacco accepted between $1 and $2 million in cash and gifts from the distrct’s insurance broker.

PREVIOUS: Michael Ritacco Pleads Guilty

“I think its important for the board to continue to work to increase the oversight and transparency and public trust here in Toms River” said Toms River School Board member Ben Giovine.

“The spider-web he wed over there is going to take us years to clean out…these are elaborate spider-web like frauds” said Alex Pavliv, another member of the Toms River School Board.

Pavliv encouraged the public to help them increase transparency in the future.

“If they come to meetings and make an effort to show up and demand answers, they will get them…but if they are going to bury their heads in the sand, its only going to allow the next Ritacco to come up again.”

The FBI raided Ritacco’s Seaside Park home as part of an investigation two years ago. Ritacco surrendered to authorities and originally pleaded not guilty in December of 2010.  He was set to go to trial in a few days.

The IRS says Ritacco also agreed to forfeit his 2010 Mercedes and more than $8,000 in cash that was seized at his home when it was raided.

The 64 year-old faces up to 14 years in prison when he’s sentenced in July.

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