MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A jury reached a partial guilty verdict in the federal corruption case of former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his wife Linda.
Jurors convicted Ed Mangano of bribery, wire fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice for a loan scheme.
Mangano was found not guilty of honest services wire fraud and extortion.
Mangano and his wife Linda were also found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice on two occasions. Linda Mangano was found guilty of making false statements. She was found not guilty of another false statements charge.
Web Extra: Ed, Linda Mangano React To Guilty Verdict
“We’re going to go home and obviously take care of Linda, who clearly should not have been charged in the first instance,” Ed Mangano said after the verdict. “Anyone that sat in that courtroom understood that.”
“Yes there’s a sense of relief that it’s over but I can’t stop fighting for what’s right,” a tearful Linda Mangano said after the verdict. “Thank you to everybody who came to support us and was here for our family and John and Sarah and everyone and all of you. Just thank you.”
“Today is a sad reminder that for too long, Nassau County’s taxpayers paid a high price for a government that did not work for them,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. “Our residents have footed the bill for a culture of corruption that has been allowed to permeate throughout our County government, enriching the few while betraying the many. Today I want our residents to know this: Nassau has turned the page.”
In the words of the assistant U.S. attorney, Edward Mangano “traded power for profit,” lavished with bribes from restaurant mogul Harendra Singh. But the Manganos’ attorneys claimed Singh was a “morally bankrupt sociopath” who “would lie for ten cents” to avoid a long prison sentence.
Mr. Mangano was accused of helping Singh obtain guaranteed loans in exchange for lavish gifts, including free meals, free trips, wood flooring for a Bethpage home, a $7,000 watch for Mangano’s son, a $3,600 massage chair and a $100,000-a-year, no-show job for his wife at one of Singh’s restaurants.
In exchange, Mangano exploited his power by steering two county contracts to Singh worth $400,000 and pressured the Town of Oyster Bay to grant what amounted to $20 million in indirect loans for Singh’s now defunct restaurant empire.
Singh spent six days on the stand as the star government witness after pleading guilty to bribing the Manganos, the former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in the form of campaign contributions, in an attempt to resolve a dispute with the city over a restaurant lease there.
De Blasio was not prosecuted. He denied taking any bribes and suggested Singh pleaded guilty only because he was desperate to get leniency for other corrupt acts.
Former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto was acquitted in the case after pleading not guilty to charges including bribery and wire fraud. He had been the town’s supervisor for two decades until his resignation in January 2017.
The Manganos said the perks were merely gifts from Singh, with whom they had a two-decade personal friendship.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)