NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In what may be called the de Blasio defense, former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano wants his corruption case thrown out.
As CB2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported Wednesday, Mangano’s reasoning is that he was charged, while de Blasio was not. Mangano said he was a victim of selective prosecution.
Kramer noted that when Mangano, a proud Republican then still in office, walked into U.S. District Court to face bribery and corruption charges, he probably never dreamed he would try to use left-of-center Democrat de Blasio as his get-out-of-jail-free card.
At the time, he said charges that restaurateur Harendra Singh gave him lavish gifts in exchange for political favors were “nonsense” and “ridiculous.”
Now, Mangano is whistling a different tune. He says he is being unfairly singled out for prosecution because the owner of the Water’s Edge Restaurant in Queens pleaded guilty to trying to bribe both him and de Blasio.
But Mangano was indicted, while de Blasio skated. Mangano said it amounts to selective prosecution and has demanded his case be thrown out.
“The Government could not have accepted Mr. Singh’s guilty plea on these counts unless it believed… that there was a corrupt agreement between himself and the mayor,” argued Mangano’s lawyer, Kevin Keating, asking a judge to dismiss the case.
The Mangano move was just the latest example of how the case – and the recent surfacing of Singh’s guilty plea — continues to dog the mayor.
“We have talked about these matters exhaustively,” de Blasio said Tuesday. “I really have nothing else to say.”
The comment came as the mayor was grilled yet again about the favors he did for Singh. The restaurant owner pleaded guilty to making political contributions to de Blasio to get favorable action on his restaurant lease.
Kramer: “The prosecutors said that they felt that you violated the spirit of the law. I wonder how you interpret that to mean you were totally cleared.”
De Blasio: “I will say again I know my administration acted legally and ethically. I have nothing else to say.”
Although federal prosecutors did not charge de Blasio, they did say they found instances where the mayor made inquiries to city agencies on behalf of donors.
The judge could rule on Mangano’s dismissal request as early as next month. Asked about Mangano’s argument, a spokesman for de Blasio insisted that the administration “acted appropriately at all times.”