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Poor health delays Oyster Bay Town official's tax trial

Frederick Ippolito, commissioner of Planning and Development, attends

Frederick Ippolito, commissioner of Planning and Development, attends an Oyster Bay Town Board meeting on Friday, Feb. 3, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Ted Phillips

Health problems Tuesday delayed Oyster Bay planning and development commissioner Frederick Ippolito's expected federal trial on tax evasion charges.

District Court Judge Leonard Wexler in the U.S. Eastern District Court in Central Islip granted Ippolito an adjournment until Sept. 29. Prosecutors sought the commencement of the trial phase at the next appearance, but Wexler scheduled another conference.

Ippolito has not accepted a plea offer from prosecutors. Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Mirabile said the details of the plea offer were not public.

Ippolito did not come to the court Tuesday because "he has very significant health issues," his attorney, Brian Griffin of Garden City, told Wexler. After the court appearance, Griffin declined to elaborate on the health issues but said Ippolito remains at work.

On March 20, Ippolito pleaded not guilty to tax evasion for allegedly failing to report $2 million in consulting income from Carlo Lizza & Sons Paving Inc. and a Lizza family member. The paving company has millions of dollars in contracts with Oyster Bay and Nassau County.

Town Supervisor John Venditto has refused to answer questions posed by a reporter about why Ippolito returned to work after a brief leave.

In June, federal prosecutors turned over CDs with 7,561 documents to Griffin as part of discovery. Ippolito also faces tax issues with New York State, which last month filed a $146,130 tax warrant against him for his portion of $395,949 in taxes owed by the estate of his late wife, Christine, for the restaurant they owned together, Christiano's in Syosset.

Newsday reported in 2013 that Christiano's had been sold to restaurateur Harendra Singh. On July 17, less than two weeks after the tax warrant was filed, Ippolito listed his Syosset home for sale for $1.7 million. The real estate listing describes his home as a "palatial colonial" where "luxury abounds."


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