Yesterday's scandal was not a topic at the Toms River Township Council meeting, where public comments from officials and attendees did not mention of tax evasion charges.
The Council had a full agenda, and questions from the public dealt with a variety of township topics, but the federal indictment of the former mayor and councilman was not among of them.
Inteso, 46, appeared in federal court in Newark Tuesday. He was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City Monday night, after stepping off a plane arriving from Afghanistan where he'd been working.
Inteso is charged with three counts of federal personal income tax evasion and three counts of failing to file federal personal income tax returns. U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman alleges more than $250,000 was unreported by Inteso in a sham company to accept payments from an un-named insurance broker from Towson, Maryland.
Inteso appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk Tuesday afternoon and was released on $200,000 bond. An arraignment has yet to be scheduled.
Inteso served from 2002 to 2007 as an elected official in Toms River. In 2002, he was named as mayor, in 2003 he was deputy mayor and served a term as councilman-at-large through 2007.
Yesterday's council meeting was lightly attended, with fewer than a dozen residents — less than usual. No one publicly mentioned the arrest and charges.
The L. Manuel Hirshblond Meeting Room, where town council meetings are held, also has a gallery of mayoral photos, filling the western wall with a history of mayors — and among them Inteso's photo. Inteso served as mayor for one year after the resignation of Bud Aldrich in 2002.
Township Clerk Mark Mutter — a former mayor and committeeman for the township — said his public office also did not coincide with Inteso's. "He was after my time," Mutter said.
After the council meeting several council members mentioned they did not serve alongside Inteso and declined comment. Inteso's last bid for elected office was the 2007 mayoral race, where Inteso ran as an independent after failing to receive the Republican candidacy. Thomas Kelaher, now serving his second term as mayor, was the Republican nominee.
Robert DiBiase ran Kelaher's mayoral campaign in 2003 and said he too did not know Inteso well.
Inteso ran as an independent for mayor in 2003. Kelaher, a former Ocean County prosecutor, was picked as the Republican candidate. "I guess we made the right decision, picking the right candidate for mayor," DiBiase said.
"I didn’t know Carmine well, not even knowing him while I was running Tom’s election campaign, against him," DiBiase said. "But needless to say, we weren’t on the same page."
The charges are disturbing, he said.
"It’s disturbing to see public officials, previously serving public officials, shirk their responsiblities, it's just disturbing," DiBiase said. "I mean, innocent until proven guilty, but if the charges are proven correct, the charges are tragic."
Inteso could face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the three tax evasion counts. Each of the three failure to file counts carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Judge Joel Pisano is presiding over the charges.
Kelaher said again last night to Toms River Patch that the former mayor and councilman was someone he wasn't familiar with, but that after reading the federal indictment saw the mention of Brick Board of Education and Toms River.
The indictment states the insurance broker had earned commissions and other fees from "Brick Board of Education and Toms River." The broker then sent payments to Inteso's alleged sham company, and Inteso allegedly withdrew them for personal use.
"Everything we know about has to do with the Brick Board of Education," Kelaher told Toms River Patch. "The indictment says the Brick Board of Education and Toms River. But we don’t know why, we checked all the records, we don’t have anything to do with it."