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Indicted Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto to resign

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, outside the

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, outside the federal courthouse in Central Islip after being charged with corruption on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Venditto will resign effective Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Credit: James Carbone

John Venditto worked his final day in Oyster Bay town government on Wednesday after announcing his resignation as town supervisor a day earlier, town spokeswoman Marta Kane said.

“The supervisor is on the job today, working on close-out matters,” Kane said in an email earlier in the day.

Councilman and Deputy Supervisor Joseph Muscarella assumed the duties of supervisor at 4:46 p.m. Wednesday, Kane said.

In a three-sentence resignation letter addressed to no one and dated Jan. 3, Venditto said, “Thanking you for many years of service together.”

Venditto, 67, who is facing federal corruption charges, said on Tuesday that he was stepping down to focus on his legal defense. It was unclear where Venditto worked on Wednesday as Kane said he was not expected at Town Hall.

The former supervisor, who has served in that position since 1998, often conducted town business from a storefront near his North Massapequa home rather than Town Hall.

“The supervisor has not yet cleaned out his office and intends to do so in the next few days,” Kane said in an email.

Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr. filed Venditto’s resignation letter with the county and the state on Wednesday.

“It’s been a very challenging time for the Town of Oyster Bay,” Altadonna said. “It’s time to focus on the future.”

The future, Altadonna said, should be one of “total transparency.”

Muscarella said Tuesday he expects the town board to appoint a new supervisor to serve out the remainder of Venditto’s term, which ends at the end of this year, within 30 days.

Two candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Nassau County Executive said Venditto’s indictment and resignation had hurt the public’s trust in government.

“The indictment and resignation of John Venditto as Oyster Bay Town Supervisor is another blow to public trust in government,” Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos said in a statement. “I call on the entire Oyster Bay Town Board, who appears to have condoned the corruption, to resign, and all Long Island elected officials who have been indicted to step aside.”

Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) said in a statement that Venditto’s resignation “is another sad and stark reminder of the damage corruption causes to government and residents alike.”

“Now more than ever we must send a message on Long Island that we will not tolerate corrupt actions by our elected officials,” Lavine said.

John Venditto timeline:

1981-1991 - Serves as town councilman

1991-1997 - Serves as town attorney

1998 - Begins serving as town supervisor

2015 - Narrowly re-elected to 10th term by 99 votes

2016 - Indicted on federal corruption charges

2017 - Resigns as town supervisor

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