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Long IslandCrime

Mangano corruption retrial to start week of Oct. 15, judge rules

The former Nassau County executive and his wife, Linda, are being retried on the same federal charges that resulted in a hung jury in May.

Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his

Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda, leave a federal court in Brooklyn after a pretrial hearing on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda, are set to go on trial on corruption charges for a second time starting the week of Oct. 15, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The Manganos, who appeared briefly in federal court in Brooklyn, have pleaded not guilty to the same charges they faced in the first trial, which ended with a hung jury in Central Islip in May.

Jury selection, followed by opening statements by Eastern District federal prosecutors and defense attorneys, will begin that week, U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack ruled at a pretrial hearing.

The first trial lasted 12 weeks, including nine days of jury deliberations, and prosecutors presented 60 witnesses and more than 1,100 pieces of evidence. Defense lawyers presented no witnesses.

Edward Mangano faces seven felony counts, including federal program bribery, honest-services wire fraud, extortion and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Linda Mangano faces five felony counts, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to the FBI.

While the charges remain the same, federal prosecutors added information to the new indictment the Manganos face in the retrial.

Some of the new information is apparently in response to complaints by some jurors in the first trial, who said they weren’t sure which specific remarks Linda Mangano made to FBI agents that were allegedly false.

In the new indictment, prosecutors listed 11 such statements, including Linda Mangano supposedly saying “she met with [then-Long Island restaurateur Harendra] Singh three or four times a week at her home to discuss her design ideas for the menus.”

The case centers on prosecutors’ allegations that Edward Mangano, in return for bribes that included a $450,000 no-show job for his wife, helped Singh get a number of lucrative Nassau County contracts, as well as $20 million in indirect loan guarantees from the Town of Oyster Bay.

Defense attorneys maintained that there was nothing illegal about Singh giving gifts to the Manganos, his longtime friends, and that, in return, the former county executive did nothing to break the law.

Prosecutors did not dispute the friendship, but they said the gifts — including the job for Linda Mangano — did not start flowing until Mangano became county executive.

The Manganos’ co-defendant in the trial, former Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, was acquitted of all charges in the case. Venditto still faces corruption charges brought by the Nassau County district attorney in state court.

Singh is expected to be the key government witness at the Manganos’ retrial, as he was at the first trial.

Azrack, who has chambers in both Brooklyn and Central Islip courthouses, said the rest of the Manganos' case would be heard in the federal court in Central Islip. Several hundred potential jurors will fill out questionnaires Tuesday in preparation for jury selection.

That would give lawyers on the case time to whittle down the number of potential jurors to be questioned the following week by them and the judge.

Azrack said she anticipated the trial will last five weeks, but attorneys noted that the potential juror questionnaire says it may last up to seven weeks.

The Manganos declined to comment outside court, as did Edward Mangano’s attorney, Kevin Keating of Garden City, and Eastern District federal prosecutors Catherine Mirabile, Lara Treinis Gatz and Christopher Caffarone.

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