Closing statements made as Manganos’ corruption case winds down

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Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, as seen leaving the federal courthouse in Central Islip last year. (Photo by Joe Nikic)

The prosecution and defense continued with closing arguments that began on Monday in the federal corruption retrial of former County Executive Edward and Linda Mangano.

U.S. District Court Judge Joan Arrack will instruct the jury of the law ahead of deliberations, which are scheduled to begin this week in Central Islip.

Following five weeks of testimony, more than 40 witnesses and 400 pieces of evidence entered, both sides rested lasted week before addressing the jury with closing arguments Monday and Tuesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Mirabile, leading off for the prosecution, attempted to fortify the government’s case that Ed Mangano, county executive from 2010 to 2017, used his office to serve himself, accepting bribes from former friend-turned government witness Harendra Singh, the newspaper said.

Defense attorney Kevin Keating maintained that Ed Mangano took no formal action in steering contracts Singh’s way, and over the course of several hours over two days, picked away at government evidence and witness testimony.

Ed Mangano is charged with seven criminal counts, including bribery and conspiracy. His wife, Linda, is charged with five counts, including making false statements to the FBI, according to court filings.

The first trial, which lasted 12 weeks in 2018, resulted in a retrial for the Manganos and had former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto acquitted of 27 charges.

This time around, Keating reiterated in closing arguments that Singh, who is awaiting sentencing for pleading guilty to bribery charges, was already benefiting from his relationships in Oyster Bay before Mangano took office, according to Newsday.

Singh hardly needed Mangano’s assistance, particularly at a crucial meeting of elected officials in April 2010 that would benefit Singh financially, when he had already been heavily associated with Venditto for almost 12 years, Keating said.

Keating also attacked Singh’s credibility, claiming he had perjured himself while on the stand and was a “morally bankrupt sociopath” that would lie for a dime, according to Newsday.

The prosecution has alleged Ed Mangano took bribes from Singh that included a $454,000 no show job for his wife, paid vacations to destinations including the Caribbean and Florida and luxury items, according to Newsday. In the closing days of testimony, the prosecution brought in FBI forensic analyst William Delgais to total up the amount of money Singh allegedly provided the Manganos in order to gain their favor.

Efforts to reach the U.S. District Attorney’s office were unavailing.

On the same day as opening statements in the retrial,  Azrack granted an email request by the prosecution that prohibits all parties and counsel from making statements to the media outside of information available in public records, according to court filings.

Including the job, vacations and other perks, the prosecution alleges that Singh spent $489,410 on the Manganos, according to Newsday.

From the moment Ed Mangano took office, Mirabelle said he used his political clout to enrich himself and help Singh. The two were “partners in crime,” she said.

Mirabelle contended that the Manganos’ relationship with Singh filled a salary gap that Ed Mangano assumed when he became county executive, giving up his work in private legal practice, according to Newsday.

Though given the opportunity, neither Mangano nor his wife decided to take the stand during the trial.

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