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New Jersey School Official Charged With Corruption

Michael J. Ritacco, the superintendent of the fourth-largest school district in New Jersey, was charged today with taking more than $1 million in kickbacks from an insurance broker who was indicted with him.

Ritacco, who runs the Toms River Regional School District, was indicted with Francis X. Gartland on wire fraud, mail fraud, and other corruption counts in federal court in Newark, New Jersey. Gartland runs Federal Hill Risk Management LLC and other companies in Towson, Maryland.

Prosecutors alleged that Ritacco took between $1 million and $2 million in illegal payments from 2002 to this year. Ritacco appeared before a federal magistrate judge in Newark, who released him on a $1 million bond. Gartland is expected to surrender to authorities tomorrow, said Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

Both men face as many as 20 years in prison on the most serious charge.

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