Ritacco's Pension Revoked by State Board

Pension revoked in unanimous vote Thursday

The pension owed to disgraced former Toms River Regional Schools Superintendent Michael J. Ritacco was revoked by a state board Thursday.

State treasury officials confirmed to Patch that a unanimous vote Thursday morning by the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund board resulted Ritacco's pension being totally revoked.

Ritacco is currently serving an 11 year sentence in federal prison for his role in a bribery and kickback scheme that cost taxpayers as much as $10 million.

"I personally agree with the decision," said Toms River Regional school board president Ben Giovine. "I don’t feel the taxpayers should have to fork over another dime to the former superintendent."

The district, which is owed restitution, received an insurance payment of $909,000  – the first money received by the district related to the scandal – in November.

The payment represents the first installment of $2.3 million the district is owed by its insurance carrier, said Stephan R. Leone, the school board's attorney. An additional $4.3 million is owed to the district by Ritacco himself through court-ordered restitution.

"We have received some monies through the insurance process, and we’re still working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s office to go after areas of garnishment they’re trying to receive," said Giovine, who added that he hoped the pension revocation would represent the "final chapter" of the Ritacco era being closed.

"The board itself has moved forward, and the district itself has continued to move forward," he said. "The last thing anyone wants to see is forking over more taxpayer dollars to someone who betrayed our trust."

Deep Throat December 05, 2013 at 02:02 PM
What a shame, how is he going to survive
Bob Alou December 05, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Next should be Habel. What a bunch of crooks.
Cardinal December 05, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Again, no mention of the Ritacco construction business which means it most have been transferred years ago to someone else and thus shielded from this huge, egregious liability? To say he blew it would be a monumental understatement. I smelled a rat when I saw so many unusual "school" business ventures, the cafe, the entertainment arena, the unusual BUBBLE, and then the naming of the arena after him, that's something that is usually done for someone who is long retired and held in great esteem. Ritacco operated with far reaching freedom, with little Independent OVERSIGHT. Let's hope that enough controls are now in place to prevent another King and his fiefdom to take over again.
Chief Wahoo December 05, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Keep paying those property taxes with out a fight.... The public takers Thank You.
1stcav December 05, 2013 at 02:43 PM
When in charge he was King of his own world with OUR tax dollars. When he said jump , most asked how high , now the only jumping is in his 4x8 cell , jumping jacks to keep in shape and good jail food with free medical care once again on the tax payers dime...he's still a taker...Glad he lost his bloated pension !
**Is*That*So???** December 05, 2013 at 02:47 PM
How much does D'alonzo and Gartland owe the district? Was D'alonzo's pension revoked yet? And where is the "Elusive" Cotroneo???
Deep Throat December 05, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Have you people no compassion? Do you know how many license plates he is going to have to make to get the money back that he is going to lose by giving up his pension? Maybe he should do ten extra years so he can recoup his losses.
**Is*That*So???** December 05, 2013 at 03:22 PM
@Deep Throat-SMH Federal Inmates don't make license plates -State Inmates Make Them!!!
Betty Boop December 05, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Will NJ pension system pay Toms River instead or just keep it for themselves. Unjust enrichment. This money should be paid or refunded to TRRS to recoup the losses from Ritacco theft.
i don't get it?? December 05, 2013 at 03:35 PM
They should split up the money and give each of the schools a share...I mean we don't have enough books for each child in the middle/high schools...we are now paying for a majority of our children's uniforms and equipment for sports teams...renovations to the schools themselves...take your pick his pension would help our SCHOOLS and our CHILDREN so much.
**Is*That*So???** December 05, 2013 at 03:56 PM
@Maruca_Failed_My_Ward- CAREFUL!!!! Heard that there is a cot next to Ritacco WITH YOUR NAME on it :) YOUR PAST WILL come back and HAUNT you :(
proud December 05, 2013 at 05:10 PM
_Failed, of the Leavenworth _Failed.
Ashamed of TR December 05, 2013 at 07:08 PM
I hope his family is proud of him. I hope he truly suffers from this latest decision while he is at his government country club. Speaking of thieves, lets not forget the name RICH CUNNINGHAM who owes the Toms River East Little League nearly a 1/4 million dollars by way of court ordered restitution. If you remember he stole it while sitting as treasurer of the league. He STOLE from a non-profit, he stole from the children. What scum! He was only in prison 6 months and I heard he had all his medical and dental issues taken care of while he was there. I wonder how much he has paid back .. it's a joke!
Rob G December 05, 2013 at 09:10 PM
It took this long to revoke his pension? I'm sure that if he gets out of prison before his death he will live a comfortable life with the money he has probably hidden away.....
Bob Rose December 05, 2013 at 09:30 PM
So why is it that now that the scam is over, money is no! Longer being stolen, restitution is being paid THERE IS NO TALK OF TAX RELIEF OR SPENDING CUTS IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM to ease the burden on the tax payers. Budgets go up and get approved without public Input. What did we gain? Come on school board. Enough is enough. We overpaid him, how much are we saving now? If I have increased expenses at home, I can't go to work, sit with the boss and tell him I have to refigure my budget and I'm going TO HAVE TO HAVE MORE MONEY! No, I have to figure what to do to make ends meet. It's about time you figure out how to do the same and not prey on the taxpayers. Numbers don't work? Start making cuts. But do it by example, not at the expense of the students. It's time to give the tax payers a break.
Exit82 December 05, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Does anyone have any idea who Ritacco insider Gus Kakavas' son-in-law, Anthony Benyola, is going to rat on. There is a pattern here.
jasperpointpl December 05, 2013 at 09:53 PM
Was this the same guy that ran the Toms River DPW and got nabbed for running a gambling operation?
Exit82 December 05, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Bingo, Benyola is also the business partner of Councilman John, I have $1.5 million in court ordered judgements against me, Sevastakis. Something's gotta give.
1stcav December 06, 2013 at 05:51 AM
Trust me no one is on welfare or getting food stamps in Florida , there had to be one heck of a piggy bank hidden from the Feds...
Deep Throat December 06, 2013 at 07:35 AM
I think it's time for me to meet with my Washington Post boys in the parking garage to get a few more rats indicted and expose a few more conspiracies.
grace December 06, 2013 at 10:11 AM
@ maruca you hit alot of nails on the head with those posts! they are all true.. lest not forget all his firends and family who now collect pensions and will be collecting them til death because he hired them..lol so many hired without teaching degrees..o you went to weatherman school and your bro married my best pals cousin no problem you get a job..lol sort of like oprah at christmas
proud December 06, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Will health benefits also be stripped when he gets out of the big house? Are they being paid to his families now? Should not his 185K refund be escrowed until full restitution is made. You know the 185K of principle that he contributed, and would get back almost completely in his first year of retirement, had it not been for this little hiccup. That is more criminal than the millions he got caught stealing and who's knows how many were not doscovered or not able to be proven. END the scourge of Home Rule that is destroying the once great Garden State!
"Bob" Armstrong December 06, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Maybe the total loss of his pension will help him decide to cooperate with the on-going Federal Investigation. It's hard to imagine how his wife, son and daughter were not indicted for conspiracy, money laundering and/or tax evasion. "Bob" Armstrong
grace December 06, 2013 at 05:52 PM
@ bob what about bribery or intimidation?
grace December 06, 2013 at 05:54 PM
@ my fave proud -i think his health benefits are included in that pension amount


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