Attorneys for former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his wife Linda spent the last few days challenging the testimony of Harendra Singh, the restauranteur who said he bribed the Manganos in exchange for government contracts.
On Tuesday, Singh admitted that Linda Mangano, who he said he had hired for a no-show job, did more work than he realized. According to Newsday, Linda’s attorney John Carman presented several emails of Linda reaching out to the managers of Singh’s restaurants, offering to work weekends and discussing proofs for new menus.
“I had no idea,” Singh said of the interactions, Newsday reported.
Singh had previously testified that Linda was given the no-show, $450,000 job in order to secure contracts from her husband.
The exchange was part of the fourth week of the Manganos’ and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto’s trial in Central Islip.
Edward Mangano and Venditto are charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and honest services wire fraud. Mangano was additionally charged with extortion and Venditto with securities fraud.
Linda Mangano is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements to the FBI and obstruction of justice. All three have pleaded not guilty.
Attorneys presented Singh with evidence all week that contradicted his claim that his gifts to the Manganos were given in exchange for contacts.
On Monday, a wiretapped conversation between him and a retired Nassau police detective was presented.
During the call, Singh said that he didn’t have any story about any politician and that anything he could tell investigators would be “all lies,” Newsday reported.
Singh replied by saying he was lying at the time, in order to protect the people he was doing business with.
Carman sought to establish a close connection between Singh and Linda, like Ed Magano’s attorney Kevin Keating did last week.
He displayed text messages where the two referred to each other as close friends, and Carmen insinuated that Linda’s job was due to that friendship, not because Singh wanted access to Mangano, Newsday reported.
Other evidence was presented to contradict Singh’s testimony that Linda did nothing while working for him.
Correspondences with Joseph Scalice, then the general manager of one of Singh’s restaurants, referred to Linda Mangano as “terrific,” Newsday reported. He said that she appeared in her office, made phone calls, got price quotes and discussed details of the business.
Singh was also cross-examined by Venditto’s attorney Marc Agifilo.
He questioned Singh about the loan guarantee Singh received from Oyster Bay. Singh had called the objections to the loan from outside counsel Jonathan Sinnreich “devastating,” Newsday reported, but Agifilo pointed out that those objections were minor.
Unlike the Manganos, Singh said that he was never close to Venditto.
“I was not friends with John Venditto,” Singh said, according to Newsday. “We had a business relationship.”