Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto was arrested with Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Mangano’s wife on federal corruption charges on the same day in October.
Venditto and Mangano were both charged with trading government contracts and official favors for free vacations and in the case of Linda Mangano, a no-show job as a food taster, with a businessman widely identified to be Harendra Singh.
Both Republicans leaders declared their innocence and intent to fight the 13-count indictment U.S. Attorney Robert Capers unsealed in federal court.
Last week, Venditto announced his resignation.
“I have decided to leave my position as the Oyster Bay town supervisor,” Venditto said in statement. “I now feel that it is in the best interests of the town and its residents for me to do so, especially since it will be difficult, if not impossible, for me to function as the town supervisor going forward as I focus on clearing my name.”
Mangano, on the other hand, says that at least for now he has no intention of leaving.
“There’s really, honestly, nothing that is not occurring that occurred before,” Mangano said in a recent interview with Newsday. “We’re not having any issues in terms of governing, communication, policy or positions.”
He cited his work on the protracted 2017 budget negotiations, the Nassau Coliseum redevelopment, and studying the feasibility of a cheaper way to keep effluent out of nitrogen-choked bays, according to Newsday.
It’s possible that Mangano is better at time management than Venditto. Or that the demands of being county executive are less than those of the supervisor of the Town of Oyster Bay. Or that Mangano believes the charges filed by federal prosecutors have less weight than Venditto does.
But we doubt it.
So, as we have said before, it is time for Mangano to step down.
Certainly, the case against Mangano recently took an ominous turn when a federal trial for Singh was delayed indefinitely.
Singh has been negotiating a plea deal to be a key witness in the case against Mangano, his wife and Venditto, according to a report in Newsday, citing unidentified sources. He has been charged with bribery, income tax evasion and obstruction of justice on Long Island.
He has also been negotiating a similar deal with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who are investigating the possible granting of favors by city officials to campaign fundraisers such as Singh.
Mangano has faced a growing chorus of officials calling for him to step down.
State Sen. Jack Martins joined other Republicans in calling on Mangano to resign following his arrest — at a time Martins was running for Congress against former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.
“It is imperative that government continue undistracted by anything that may be out there,” Martins said. “And so, we’re asking county executive to resign, step aside, and to allow county business to continue undistracted.”
Martins, who lost his bid for Congress, is now mentioned along with Hempstead Town Receiver Donald Clavin and Hempstead Town Board member Bruce Blakeman as possible candidates for county executive in the fall.
Martins was joined at the time by Republican state Sens. Kemp Hannon and Carl Marcellino as well as then Senate candidates Elaine Phillips and Chris McGrath — in calling for Mangano’s and Venditto’s resignations.
Incredibly, Mangano has not only said he did not intend to resign, but he has not ruled out running for re-election.
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, who switched parties to run for county executive as a Democrat, called for Mangano’s resignation this week.
He has joined Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran of Baldwin and state Assemblyman Charles Lavine of Glen Cove among the Democrats seeking to clean the corruption for which they hold Mangano responsible.
Rarely has there been this much unity among Democrats and Republicans.
Self interest, no doubt, plays a role.
But in this case, they have it right.
Ed Mangano should do the right thing and step down. Now.