NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nassau County police have ended their investigation into the so-called sexting scandal involving Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Nassau County police said they could not find any evidence that Mangano exchanged sexually explicit messages with a local marketing executive. But there are still questions – and a mystery.
Nassau County police Detective Sgt. Patrick Ryder said when he interviewed Mangano about the case, he warned the county executive he would put him in handcuffs if he was lying.
As 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported, Ryder has spent the last few weeks conducting interviews and gaining access to the phones of Mangano and marketing executive Karin Caro.
But after denials from both Mangano and Caro, Ryder said both were telling the truth that they were not having an affair, they never texted one another, and they were the victims of a hoax, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
“The evidence that I have and the investigation that I did shows that Mr. Mangano and Mrs. Caro did not sext each other,” Ryder said.
But Ryder also said, “with the evidence that I have, the phones were not hacked or spoofed,” as Mangano had suggested.
Rather, police said it all appears to be a cut-and-paste job made to look like text messages and tweets.
“This could have been a kid or somebody who has an agenda,” Ryder said.
From the get-go, that was exactly what Mangano himself had said.
“I am a victim here. I am being hacked,” Mangano said back on Feb. 13. “This is a lie, and I will bring every legal action to catch this persona and bring them to justice.”
Ryder said he was able to download information from phones belonging to Mangano and Caro, and could not find any evidence of communication.
According to Ryder, if you Google one message, “It was a quote that was taken from an article of two people in the Hollywood world — again, a cut and paste.”
Ryder said they even checked license plate readers from the past few months and Mangano and Caro were not in the same place at the same time.
But there’s still a mystery about where the communications came from, CBS2’s Kramer reported.
When Kramer asked Ryder if iMessages could be deleted and not recovered because of Apple encryption policies, he said yes – but in this case, that is irrelevant.
“If somebody opens the account for you like Mrs. Caro did, and gave us her ID and her password…” Ryder said.
“Are you 100 percent sure that she didn’t have another phone that things were deleted that you couldn’t recover because of the iMessage system?” Kramer said.
“From the evidence I have, I can tell you it’s not there,” Ryder said. “Could she have another phone? Absolutely.”
But there are two schools of thought about whether deleted iMessages can be recovered even with password clearance. Manny Gomez, a former FBI agent, weighed in.
“You can delete (iMessages) and then you would need to go to get cloud to get them retrieved, and unfortunately, Apple is not cooperating with law enforcement these days in terms of getting into their devices,” Gomez said. “There are ways you can delete certain things and they won’t be found.”
When Kramer first interviewed Mangano, he said someone was out to get him. Kramer asked him who would be out after him.
“A political opponent? I don’t know. A warped individual? I don’t know, Marcia,” Mangano said.
And the question of where the messages actually came from remains a mystery.
“In 32 years I have never stood up at a podium and told you a lie. I don’t know the answer to the riddle here, I wish I did,” Ryder said. “But like I said to you, I deal with the facts and the facts tell me it didn’t happen. If more facts come forward, then I will move forward on the investigation.”
This may not be the end of the road; police indicated other law enforcement agencies are still looking into two no-bid contracts awarded to Caro received from Nassau County and how she got them.
Mangano issued a statement saying that he is the victim of a hoax perpetrated by a deranged individual, Kramer reported.