Timothy Bolger

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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.

Ex-Oyster Bay Official Gets 2 Years for Tax Evasion

A 77-year-old former Town of Oyster Bay planning commissioner was sentenced Wednesday to 2 ¼ years in prison for federal tax evasion when he failed to report $2 million in outside income.

Frederick Ippolito, of Syosset, had pleaded guilty at Central Islip federal court in January. Leonard Wexler also sentenced Ippolito to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $548,487.00 in restitution.

“The defendant’s position as an influential official within a local municipality did not exempt him from paying his fair share of taxes, just like any other citizen,” said Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Prosecutors said Ippolito received over $2 million in consulting fees from Old Bethpage-based Carlo Lizza & Sons Paving, Inc. and from being a principal of that company but willfully failed to report it on his personal tax returns or the returns of entities he controlled from 2008 to 2013.

As the town commissioner of planning and development, he was responsible for the enforcement of all codes, rules, and ordinances pertaining to building and zoning, and supervised the issuance of permits for construction. He resigned following his guilty plea.

Suffolk Cop Charged in Fatal Wrong-way Crash

An off-duty Suffolk County police officer was arrested for allegedly driving the wrong way on Sunrise Highway and causing a head-on crash that killed another driver in West Islip early Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Robert Scheuerer, an officer in the Third Precinct, was charged with a felony count of reckless endangerment. He is facing additional charges, police said.

Major Case Unit detectives said the officer was driving a Nissan Pathfinder eastbound in the westbound lanes when his SUV crashed into a Ford van between exits 39 and 40 at 4:38 a.m.

The van caught fire, and its driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver’s identity was not immediately available.

Scheuerer was hospitalized. He will be arraigned at a later date. In the meantime, he was suspended from duty without pay.

Detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information about this crash to call them at 631-852-6553 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Mark Cuban Arrives at Presidential Debate, Slams Trump

Mark Cuban Donald Trump

Surrogates for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, were out in force shortly before the two faced off in their first debate at Hofstra University on Monday.

Hillary supporters Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, spoke with the media as did Trump supporters Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), boxing promoter Don King, and others from both camps.

“On key issues like supporting the police, rebuilding the military, also economic leadership, also just showing the strength of purpose, I think Donald Trump has it,” Congressman King told the Press. “Listen, I can give you many issues I disagree with Donald Trump on, but I agree with him on the key issues.”

The high-profile supporters gave interviews in the media filing center outside the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex where the candidates are debating in a televised event expected to draw ratings rivaling the Superbowl.

On the other side of the aisle was Cuban, whom Clinton invited to sit in the front row given his ability to get under Trump’s skin, prompting Trump to announce before the debate that he would invite Bill Clinton’s ex-mistress, Gennifer Flowers.

“There’s so little thought behind what he says,” Cuban said. “He’s like that friend you have that’s easy to pick on that just says crazy things…He just doesn’t know what he believes [and] what he doesn’t believe.”

As the billionaire sports owner spoke, boxing promoter King appeared nearby to tell reporters that Trump would take apart the current system and built a new one to create more opportunities.

“He’s not a politician,” Don King said. “He’s a businessman.”

Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, gave several televised interviews but did not stop to speak to other reporters in the filing center before he left the area.

-With Rashed Mian

Blue Point Brewery Remake of George Washington’s Beer Debuts at Hofstra Debate

Blue Point Debate Beer
Blue Point Brewery debuted Colonial Ale, a beer recipe created by President George Washington, at the 2016 Hofstra Debates (Timothy Bolger/Long Island Press)

Pundits may disagree about who’s declared winner of the presidential debate at Hofstra University, but Patchogue-based Blue Point Brewery scored countless bipartisan fans by recreating a Founding Father’s beer for the occasion.

The local craft beer brewers remade Colonial Ale, originally concocted in 1757 by George Washington before he became America’s first President, to debut it in the beer garden in the media area at the 2016 debates, where national and international reporters lined up for free samples.

“We’re trying to get some backstage to try to keep the fireworks under control, but we’ll see what happens,” joked Mark Burford, co-founder of Blue Point Brewery, when asked if the presidential candidates had tasted the beer. “Beer brings people together.”

RELATED STORY: Long Island Craft Beer Guide

Blue Point also has a variety of its regularly brewed beers on tap at the debates, earning priceless access to thousands of members of the media who may not have heard of Long Island’s largest craft brewery.

After Washington’s beer recipe was unearthed, Blue Point was inspired to recreate it since he had stopped at Hart’s Tavern, down the block from their brewery, on his tour of Long Island in 1790, Burford said. Next week Colonial Ale will be officially on tap in Blue Point’s tasting room. It is expected to be bottled for sale by Election Day, Burford said. They’re currently brewing their second 30-barrel batch of the brown ale, which was made using unconventional ingredients, including corn, molasses and spruce tips.

“Some of those ingredients we’ve used individually in other beers, but never the whole hodge-podge,” Burford said. “It was a farm brewery, basically for the house, not a big commercial enterprise, so they used whatever they could get a hold of. And at that time, a lot of raw ingredients were not available, so they had what they grew.”

And the critics agree, the ale tastes as good as it sounds.

Rocky Point Woman Killed in Car Crash

A 65-year-old woman was killed in a car crash in her hometown of Rocky Point on Thursday.

Suffolk County police said Carol Sardegna was a passenger in a Chevrolet Malibu that was turning from Route 25A onto Hallock Landing Road when the car was hit by a westbound Toyota Highlander at 4:15 p.m.

Sardegna was taken to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, where she was pronounced dead.

The two drivers and a 12-year-old girl who was a passenger in the SUV were taken to local hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Seventh Squad detectives impounded both vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call them at 631-852-8752.

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Ex-Cuomo Aide Among 9 Charged in Upstate NY Corruption Bust, Feds Say

Preet Bharara
Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks at Harvard Law School’s Class Day on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. (U.S. Department of Justice photo).

A former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo was among nine people arrested for corruption in two alleged schemes that included bid-rigging and bribery involving the Buffalo Billion initiative, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Cuomo’s former executive deputy secretary, Joseph Percoco, was charged with helping an energy company and a Syracuse-based real estate developer in exchange for more than $315,000 in what they called “ziti,” which was code for bribes in language adopted from The Sopranos, HBO’s popular mob drama, authorities said. In a separate but overlapping alleged scheme, SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros was accused of steering work to contractors while overseeing the application process for the Buffalo Billion project, intended to revitalize the western New York city, prosecutors said.

“The companies got rich, and the public got bamboozled,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, told reporters during a news conference at his Manhattan office. “The bids allegedly were rigged, the results preordained.”

The case comes less than a year after his office’s prosecutors convicted former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and ex-state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) on separate but similar corruption charges. Both are appealing.

“It turns out that the state legislature does not have a monopoly on crass corruption in New York,” Bharara said.

Percoco was charged with soliciting bribes, conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. Authorities said he conspired with energy company executive Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr. and Buffalo Billion consultant Todd Howe to get Percoco’s then-unemployed wife $287,000 in pay for a no-show job, prosecutors said. Percoco also allegedly got expensive meals and a Hamptons fishing trip. In exchange, Percoco used his influence to help the company save $100 million on the construction of a power plant, among other favors, authorities said.

Percoco also received about $35,000 in bribes from Syracuse developers Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi in exchange for his help in reversing an Empire State Development Corporation decision related to a labor dispute, which in turn freed up $14 million in state funds awarded to their company, prosecutors said. The bribes also ensured a pay raise for Aiello’s son, who worked in the governor’s office, authorities said.

The money was funneled through a shell company controlled by Howe, who struck a plea deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony. Kelly and Aiello were each charged with bribery and conspiracy. Aiello’s son was not charged.

Madison Square Garden Co. named Percoco senior vice president last December following his stint with Cuomo. In a press release announcing his hiring, MSG referred to Percoco as a “distinguished” government worker.

“If the allegations are true, I am saddened and profoundly disappointed,” Cuomo said in a statement after the charges were announced. “I hold my administration to the highest level of integrity. I have zero tolerance for abuse of the public trust from anyone.”

Bharara added: “There are no allegations of wrongdoing by the governor anywhere in this complaint.”

In the second scheme, Aiello, Kelly and Buffalo-based developers Louis Ciminelli, Michael Laipple and Kevin Schuler were charged with paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to Howe in exchange for secretly rigging bids to ensure they would win taxpayer-funded construction project contracts worth tens of millions of dollars, prosecutors said. Kaloyeros and Howe secretly asked the developers for qualifications that would be inserted in the Requests for Proposals to minimize competition, authorities said. In one instance, the information was so specifically tailored to one developer, a conspirator asked if it was “too telegraphed,” according to investigators.

Kaloyeros was suspended without pay, effective immediately, Cuomo said.

At the news conference Adam Cohen, the FBI Special Agent-in-Charge of the Buffalo Field Office that led the investigation, recalled getting his start in government work while growing up on Long Island. He said the allegations were “personally upsetting” to him and his colleagues.

“These arrests speak volumes to those who…arrogantly took what was not theirs and who acted without morals and ignored ethics,” he said. “Each of them allegedly broke the law because they chose greed, and, as a result, personally tarnished an historic opportunity… We cannot say it often enough: It is the expectation of the public that government officials are not in their positions to self-deal or to serve their personal interests.”

Each of the suspects faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

More Skeletal Remains Found in Brentwood

Suffolk County police are investigating the discovery of another set of human skeletal remains that were found in Brentwood less than a week after a similar find was made nearby, authorities said.

Few details were available about the latest discovery. The person’s identity, cause and manner of death were not immediately known. It is unclear if the two discoveries are related to each other or to the recent double murder of two teenage girls in Brentwood—a case that investigators suspect has gang ties.

The latest discovery came after the remains of an unidentified person were found in a wooded area west of Emjay Boulevard and north of the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Brentwood, police have said.

Those remains were taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, where an autopsy will be performed to determine the person’s cause of death and identity.

Homicide Squad detectives ask anyone with information on these cases to call them at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Discarded Pressure Cooker Sparks North Shore High School Bomb Scare

North Shore High School in Glen Head was evacuated Tuesday morning after a discarded pressure cooker caused a bomb scare, Nassau County police and school officials said.

Emergency Service Unit officers responded to the school on Glen Cove Avenue at 10:13 a.m. and soon after learned that the pressure cooker had simply been discarded by a staffer, a police spokeswoman said. Students and educators were evacuated to a field away from the building as a precaution, a school official said.

“They believe the package is nothing,” Robert Chlebicki, assistant superintendent of North Shore Schools, told the Press before police confirmed that the item was a pressure cooker.

The kitchen appliances have been used to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs) such as those found in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and in New Jersey over the weekend as well as by the Boston Marathon bombers, among others. Ahmad Khan Rahami of Elizabeth, N.J. was arrested in connection with the Chelsea bombing that wounded 29 on Saturday night.

The discovery of suspicious packages routinely sparks a large police response on Long Island.

On Monday night, Suffolk County police Emergency Services officers used a robot to X-ray and unzip a suspicious backpack that a Best Buy employee found unattended at the Bay Shore store, police said. The bag turned out to contain spiral notebooks and was believed to have been left behind by someone loading merchandise into their car, police said.

“It was handled the way all suspicious items are handled—carefully until deemed safe,” a Suffolk police spokeswoman said.

Mount Sinai Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash

A 63-year-old man was killed when he crashed his motorcycle in his hometown of Mount Sinai over the weekend.

Suffolk County police said Joseph LeDeoux was riding his Harley Davidson eastbound on North Country Road when he lost control and crashed into a telephone pole near the corner of Grassland Circle at 11:10 p.m. Friday.

The victim pronounced dead at the scene.

Sixth Squad detectives impounded the motorcycle, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the crash to call them at 631-854-8652.

Skeletal Remains of Unidentified Person Found in Brentwood

The skeletal remains of an unidentified person were found in Brentwood on Friday, Suffolk County police announced on Monday.

The remains were found in a wooded area west of Emjay Boulevard and north of the Long Island Rail Road tracks, police said.

They were taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, where an autopsy will be performed to determine the person’s cause of death and identity.

Homicide Squad detectives ask anyone with information on this case to call them at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

hofstra transfer day today
hofstra transfer day today