MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — One of Long Island’s most powerful politicians was facing federal corruption charges on Thursday.
Prosecutors say Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his wife, along with the Oyster Bay Town Supervisor took cash, vacations, even a no-show job, and gave away kickbacks.
So, who are these powerful people, and how did they come together to be indicted for bribes and kickbacks, mere weeks before election day?
Mangano and his wife Linda — Nassau’s ‘first lady’ — live in a two-story Bethpage home all set for Halloween.
He worked as a janitor to put himself through Hofstra law. She is a former graphic designer and publisher of a local paper. They shared family photos when he first assumed office in 2010.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Mangano now has one year left in his second term.
With today’s arrests for corruption some voters and politicians on both sides of the aisle have already urged Mangano to step back, resign, and not consider running for re-election next year.
“Everyone’s innocent until proven guilty. However, where there’s smoke there’s fire sometimes,” Steve Quigley said.
“I know Ed Mangano for many years, am a little shocked to hear about this,” Mark Rubanow added.
The Manganos’ longtime friend — prominent business magnate Harendra Singh — once operated more than a dozen restaurants, allegedly fed the couple high-priced, complimentary meals, arranged and pair for their vacations, and cooked the books on a no-show job for Linda.
He allegedly got lucrative business deals, kickbacks, and — according to frustrated taxpayers — cheated the government and town of Oyster Bay out of millions.
His wife Ruby said Singh is suffering from diabetes.
“They sought to arrest him and his wife for bribery, hopefully it’s not the case, but he will have his day in court,” Darryl Turner said.
At Oyster Bay town hall employees appeared stunned.
John Venditto — two decades ago became town supervisor.
A Republican like Mangano, the feds said he received free chauffeur services, discounted fundraisers, and a private room at a Singh restaurant in exchange for guaranteeing Singh millions in loans, contracts for the town golf course, beaches, and restaurants.
Dean Hart is with the group Long Island Citizens for Good Government.
“The New York State constitution says you cannot guarantee with taxpayer money private loans, but that doesn’t matter to criminals,” Hart said.
Singh, Venditto, and the Manganos said they are not criminals. Ed Mangano plans to be back in his office tomorrow. Business as usual he said until, and if there is a trial.