Frederick P. Ippolito, 78, former Town of Oyster Bay Planning and Development Commissioner who pled guilty of tax evasion last year, died on Sunday after being rushed to a local hospital in Ayer, Mass., said Mary Long, a spokeswoman at the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Mass., where Ippolito was severing his prison sentence. No cause of death is being released at this time.
Ippolito was sentenced to prison for 27 months in September for evading taxes of more than $2 million in outside consulting fees from Carlo Lizza & Sons in Old Bethpage, a paving contractor that did millions of dollars in business with the town.
Prior to working with the town in 2009, Ippolito had been with Carlo Lizza & Sons in 2008. In his financial disclosure forms filed with the town’s ethics board for 2009 through 2013, he listed commissions from the contractor as a source of income. However, for his forms for 2008, he did not disclose his position with Carlo Lizza & Son or any income from the business.
According to a court filing by Ippolito’s attorney Brian Griffin of Garden City, Ippolito received $412,000 from the contractor in 2008 and more than $1.4 million from two Lizza family members from 2009 through 2013.
Sentencing Federal Judge Leonard Wexler said receiving income from a town contractor while being employed by the town was a conflict of interest.
“Frederick Ippolito served the Town of Oyster Bay for almost 40 years,” said Griffin in a statement. “His legacy, visible through the beautiful structures, well planned developments and general building character of the town, will be felt for generations to come.”
Robert Freier, a Woodbury resident who is running for town board as a Democrat, believes that Ippolito’s arrest and incarceration reflected why residents have grown to distrust town government.
“My condolences go out to his family, and it’s just another sad chapter in a long history of sad chapters in the town of Oyster Bay, said Freier. “I look forward to truly a new beginning in the town.”
Griffin continues to believe that Ippolito was innocent. “Until the end Fred fought to overturn a sentence that was both unfair and unjust,” he said. “Although today is a sad day for Fred’s family and friends, it is unfortunately not surprising given his age, poor health and the sentence he received.”
Ippolito’s arrest was one of the many federal corruption cases involving public officials on Long Island in the past year.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Fred Ippolito and extend our condolences and prayers to his family during this difficult time,” said town spokesman Brian Devine.