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Anthony Macagnone, Joseph Pinto, Oyster Bay councilmen, say Frederick Ippolito should resign

Town of Oyster Bay Planning Commissioner Fred Ippolito,

Town of Oyster Bay Planning Commissioner Fred Ippolito, right, leaves federal court in Central Islip on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, with his lawyer, Brian J. Griffin. Ippolito pleaded guility to tax fraud. Credit: James Carbone

Oyster Bay Councilmen Anthony Macagnone and Joseph Pinto on Wednesday repeated their calls for Frederick Ippolito to resign from town government.

Ippolito, 77, who has been planning and development commissioner since 2009, pleaded guilty to one felony count of income tax evasion, admitting in court Tuesday that he knowingly submitted a false federal tax return for 2008. Ippolito faces up to two years in prison when he is sentenced and federal prosecutors say he owes $548,000. His sentencing date has not been set.

“If he pleaded guilty to a felony, he should be asked to resign,” Macagnone said.

Pinto said he stood by his statement Tuesday for Ippolito to step down as commissioner.

Town Supervisor John Venditto last year rebuffed calls to fire Ippolito after his indictment on six counts of tax evasion. Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Devine said that “no decision has been made yet” regarding Ippolito’s employment with the town.

“At this point, the town hasn’t had a chance to review all of the parameters of the plea agreement,” Devine said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York declined to provide a copy of the plea agreement. Spokeswoman Nellin McIntosh would not say whether the town was given a copy.

Calls to the other members of the all-Republican board — Chris Coschignano, Michele Johnson, Joseph Muscarella and Rebecca Alesia — were not returned Wednesday. On Tuesday Muscarella said he couldn’t comment on the guilty plea until he had verified the information.

It was unclear whether Ippolito came to work Wednesday. A receptionist at his office said late Wednesday morning, “Right now he’s not here.”

Devine said the commissioner was not reachable by phone.

“I called a few times and did not get an answer,” Devine said.

Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said it was “outrageous that someone who is in essence convicted of a federal crime is still employed by the town.”

“People in positions like that are looked to as honest brokers of the public good and he has already established that he is not honest,” Jacobs said.

Ippolito, who had previously worked for the town, retired in 1994 and receives a grossly monthly pension of $4,861, according to the state comptroller’s office. His pension payments are in addition to an annual town salary that was $144,170 in 2014.

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