Toms River super pleads not guilty

Former Toms River Superintendent Michael Ritacco and co-defendant insurance broker, Francis Gartland, both pled not guilty to 18 counts of fraud yesterday, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Ritacco – whose name, once prominent in Ocean County, is still plastered across the Poland Spring Arena at Toms River High School North – retired from his position following his arrest on Oct. 21, charged with taking between $1 and $2 million in bribes from Gartland for lucrative district insurance contracts.

The two men will stand trial scheduled to begin on July 25, 2011.