Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano "has lost virtually everything," his lawyer said in a court filing Tuesday that asks a federal judge for "substantial leniency" at the ex-elected official's upcoming sentencing for 2019 corruption convictions — while insisting on his innocence.
Attorney Kevin Keating also argued it's "impossible to overstate the punishment" Mangano already suffered after two trials with months of testimony and weeks of jury deliberation following an investigation that started seven years ago.
The defense filing didn't mention what sentence probation officials recommended, or suggest how the judge should penalize the former Republican leader other than calling for leniency.
"Ed Mangano has lost virtually everything. His political career and boundless future has been lost. His law license has been taken away, virtually all of his assets are gone, and his good name vanquished — all because 12 years ago a phony friend of 25 years asked him to show up at a meeting over which he had no ability to impact," the court papers also said.
Jurors found Mangano, 59, was bribed by restaurateur Harendra Singh, the prosecution's star trial witness. They decided Mangano paid Singh back after becoming county executive in 2010 by pressuring Town of Oyster Bay officials into indirectly backing $20 million in loans for him, a transaction a town lawyer warned was illegal.
Prosecutors contended Mangano did so in part by showing his support for Singh while attending an April 2010 meeting at the political headquarters of now-late former Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto that was held to try to push through the funding.
Jurors found Mangano guilty of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, federal program bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, honest services wire fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors have said Mangano faces up to 20 years in prison on some of the charges.
The jury also convicted the former county executive’s wife, Linda Mangano, 58, of charges that included lying to the FBI about what prosecutors dubbed a "no-show" $454,000 job as a food taster and menu planner Singh gave her as one of the bribes for her husband.
The Manganos' 2019 trial in federal court in Central Islip followed a 2018 mistrial, a proceeding in which a jury also acquitted Venditto of corruption charges.
U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack previously set March 23 as the sentencing date for the Bethpage couple after rejecting defense arguments for a new trial on grounds including a claim that Singh committed perjury while testifying against them.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman John Marzulli declined to comment Tuesday. Prosecutors are due to file sentencing recommendations for both defendants soon.
Linda Mangano's attorney, John Carman, asked Azrack in a Feb. 18 court filing to give Nassau's former first lady community service. He argued it was justified "by a life defined by kindness and a selfless impulse to help others," while saying her life and marriage "are in shambles."
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Singh also bribed Edward Mangano with five vacations, free meals, two luxury chairs, ash flooring for he and his wife’s bedroom and a $7,300 wristwatch for one of their sons. The defense contended the perks Singh provided were gifts from a longtime family friend, while insisting Edward Mangano never took any formal government action in return.
Jurors acquitted Mangano on allegations that he steered two county contracts that together were worth more than $400,000 to Singh, one for bread and rolls for Nassau’s jail and another to feed relief workers after Superstorm Sandy.
Singh pleaded guilty to crimes that included bribery, conspiracy and tax evasion and cooperated with prosecutors to try to win leniency at his future sentencing. Tuesday's defense filing also featured an assault on his credibility, with Keating pegging him as a perjurer who spewed "vast lies" at both trials.
In contrast, Keating described the former county executive as "a local success story born of modest hardworking parents." He recalled how Mangano worked as a janitor and printer to put himself through law school, joined one of Long Island's largest law firms and later "beat all odds" by becoming a two-term Nassau county executive while raising two sons who became a police officer and a prosecutor.
The court filing included letters of support, including from the Manganos' sons, clergy and ex-government officials who served under Mangano's tenure, including former County Attorney John Ciampoli and former Deputy County Executive Ed Ward. Others who wrote letters included Steven Schlesinger, a longtime attorney for county Democrats, who told the judge that as "somewhat of an expert on Long Island politics," he believed "an injustice" had befallen Mangano.
The court paperwork concluded with a personal appeal from Mangano to the judge.
"I will continue my fight for full exoneration," he vowed, while asking for a "non-custodial sentence" for his wife — saying she already had "paid an indescribably painful price."