Superintendent of the fourth largest school district in New Jersey is sentenced to 11 years in prison for stealing millions! I went to high school in this disctric and there were always rumors that this greasy bastard had a swimming pool in his house in the shape of Micky Mouse’s head, elevators, etc. Turns out that stuff existed and he stole it from our taxpaying parents. Growing up in Toms River there was a clear divide between the three high schools. There was North, South and East. North is where the the rich kids went to school, arguably the nicer part of town, Ritacco fought to make sure that high school, in his neighborhood (North) had a GIANT arena built that was meant to funnel money back into the schools, that they had the best sports facilities, etc. However, it never seemed to work that way (money funneling back into the system). When I was in high school we would run out of paper and pencils halfway through the year, every year. Our high school had text books that were so old that there was no room left on the back to fill in your name. We had pretty shitty facilities in comparison to the other high schools in the district (North & East) North on the other hand had a giant facility to host pop acts like Maroon 5 (they actually played there), great sports facilities, new text books, etc. I guess the reason I am writing this is because growing up it was hard for me to understand the difference economically between my school / part of town and that of a school / part of town a meager mile away. Now to find out that the person everyone expected was crooked actually was and he stole millions, while we had to have our parents supply us with the most basic school supplies is infuriating and also sad. It is sad because everyone gave this guy such high praise for how he ran the district. He was spoken about like a king. My question is for all of the money he stole, how many other parties were aware? It seems hard to believe that there were no audits or superior officers monitoring budgets, internal activities, etc. There is a much better, non personal piece written about Mr. (hope prison doesn’t leave you sore) Ritacco over here.
For his part, Ritacco said he was a good man who had made some bad choices.
“I was a guy who was respected in the community, I destroyed it all,” Ritacco told Pisano.
But Pisano disagreed. He said participating in a bribery and kickback scheme that lasted 12 years and cheated Toms River taxpayers out of millions of dollars was not the actions of a good man.
Ritacco faced up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, according to a plea agreement he signed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on April 5. As a consequence of pleading guilty, Ritacco agreed to forfeit $1 million, his 2010 Mercedes-Benz and more than $8,000 in cash that was found in his Seaside Park home. Via