Disgraced ex-Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto has admitted to corruption in a plea deal that will spare him serving any time behind bars following his 2017 arrest.
For former lawmaker pleaded guilty Friday at Nassau County court to a felony charge of corrupt use of position or authority and a misdemeanor count of official misconduct. Charges of defrauding the government and conspiracy were dropped in exchange for the plea.
“Our investigation uncovered pervasive corruption in the Town of Oyster Bay where the powerful and connected used the government to benefit themselves at the expense of the taxpayers they were sworn to serve,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “This felony plea by former Town Supervisor Venditto sends a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated in Nassau County and my office will pursue these cases aggressively without fear or favor.”
Nassau prosecutors said the 70-year-old Massapequa man directed former town Parks Commissioner Frank Nocerino to hire an individual at the behest of Frederick Ippolito, the former town planning commissioner from Syosset who died in prison this year at age 78 after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion. The employee, who paid more than twice the rate of others in his position, was hired while the town was considering layoffs due to a financial crisis, authorities noted.
Later, Ippolito—who was already convicted at the time—ordered the employee be fired, according to investigators. Venditto and Richard Porcelli, deputy executive leader of the North Massapequa Republican Club, agreed to fire the employee, but also fired others to divert attention from the firing, prosecutors said.
Nocerino and Porcelli were each charged with official misconduct in the case. Porcelli was also charged with conspiracy. They both pleaded not guilty and their trials are pending.
Venditto was sentenced to three years conditional discharge. He had faced up to four years in prison on the felony.
Venditto was acquitted last year of federal corruption charges in a separate case. His co-defendants in that case, fellow Republican former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, and Mangano’s wife, Linda, were convicted following a retrial in March.