Ex-Toms River school superintendent pleads not guilty

TRENTON - (AP) - The former superintendent of New Jersey's fourth-largest school district has pleaded not guilty to corruption charges.

Michael Ritacco entered his plea Wednesday during a briefhearing in U.S. District Court in Trenton. He retired last monthafter he was arrested on fraud and bribery charges stemming from analleged insurance-kickback scheme that federal officials called"staggering" in its scope.

Prosecutors allege Ritacco and insurance broker Francis Gartlandof Baltimore, Md., concealed more than $1 million in bribes between2002 and 2010 from insurance brokers and other service providers.Gartland also pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Court documents say the men spent money on home renovations andluxury items.

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