By KAYLA J. MARSH
MIDDLETOWN — A township official has been suspended without pay after being charged on 14 counts for underreporting his income on several years of tax returns and failing to disclose income earned outside of his employment with the township.
According to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Todd W. Costello, director of Management Information Systems with the township, is charged with five counts of third degree Filing a False Return, five counts of third degree Failure to Pay Taxes and four counts of third degree Tampering with Public Records.
“If convicted, each of the third degree counts carries a potential sentence of three to five years in a New Jersey state prison,” the release states.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Costello, of Jackson, underreported his income by more than a half million dollars.
“An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from the New Jersey Department of Treasury Office of Criminal Investigations, revealed Costello underreported his income by more than $535,000 on his 2010 to 2014 tax returns,” the release said.
“In total, the investigation determined Costello failed to pay more than $22,000 in additional New Jersey state taxes on income received.”
Christopher Adams, Esq., of Adams Buchan & Palo in Holmdel, represents Costello, and the case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor William Somers.
“Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and state law,” the county press release states.
Costello, who has worked for Middletown since 2002, was suspended without pay from his current $109,180.80-per-year salary job with the township.
“Upon learning on Tuesday of Mr. Costello’s indictment on charges related to his personal finances, the Township immediately suspended him without pay, pending the outcome of the legal proceedings,” said Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante in a prepared statement.
“It is important to note that none of the charges against Mr. Costello involved in any way his work as a Township employee or Township finances in any way.”