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Venditto, Oyster Bay officials to be arraigned Thursday, sources say

Former Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto

Former Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto on Feb. 8, 2017. Credit: James Carbone

The campaign manager for former Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto is among those with ties to that municipality, including Venditto himself, who will surrender Thursday morning to face arraignment in Nassau County Court, sources said.

Campaign guru and longtime friend of Venditto, Richard Porcelli Sr., 70, of Ronkonkoma, is one of several people named in an indictment returned by a special grand jury the Nassau district attorney’s office convened to probe corruption in Oyster Bay, according to sources with knowledge of the case.

Porcelli’s attorney, Francis Casale Jr., declined to comment Wednesday, as did a spokesman for District Attorney Madeline Singas.

Venditto’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo, previously told Newsday his client will plead not guilty Thursday. Venditto, a 68-year-old Republican from North Massapequa who’s already charged in a federal corruption case, “will prevail” over the allegations, Agnifilo said.

Newsday has reported that sources said others in the indictment include Frank Antetomaso, 77, of Massapequa, the town’s former public works commissioner; and Frederick Ippolito, the town’s former planning and development commissioner who died this month at age 78, after the special grand jury’s vote.

Antetomaso’s attorney, Nancy Bartling, had no comment Wednesday. Ippolito’s lawyer, Brian Griffin, has said his client’s estate will take action “to hold the government accountable for any baseless charges.”

Ippolito died while serving a 27-month federal prison sentence after his 2016 guilty plea to tax evasion in connection with $2 million in outside consulting fees he collected while working as a town commissioner. Federal prosecutors said the money came from Carlo Lizza & Sons Paving Inc., as well as the Lizza family trust.

Newsday previously reported the paving company, its president and CEO Elia Aly Lizza, 69, and his wife, Marisa Lizza, 61, both of Oyster Bay Cove, also are named in the Nassau indictment. Their attorney, John Carman, declined to comment Wednesday.

The indictment follows the October arrests of Venditto, Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, and Mangano’s wife, Linda, in the separate federal corruption case.

All three pleaded not guilty after allegations Venditto and Edward Mangano took bribes from a restaurateur in exchange for county contracts and Oyster Bay guaranteeing millions in loans. The restaurant owner, whom sources identified as Harendra Singh, allegedly gave a no-show job to Linda Mangano — who faces charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A Westchester judge will preside over Thursday’s arraignments in Mineola, according to sources, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

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