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Edward Mangano: ‘At peace’ after arrest on corruption charges

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano returns to work

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano returns to work on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 in Mineola. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A defiant Edward Mangano returned to work Friday — a day after the Nassau county executive and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto were arraigned on federal corruption charges.

Mangano and Venditto are accused of receiving “bribes and kickbacks” from a Long Island businessman who also allegedly gave Mangano’s wife a lucrative no-show job.

“When you’re confident that you’ve conducted yourself properly, I’m at peace,” Mangano told News 12 Long Island from behind his desk in his Mineola office.

Reacting to calls for his resignation from some of Nassau’s State Senate Republican incumbents, Mangano said: “Many of them are lawyers, and they should have more respect for the process. . . . They themselves have their own issues, so maybe they want to look in the mirror and ask themselves that question.”

Mangano has received an “outpouring of support” from constituents, civic and religious leaders, and elected officials, according to his spokesman, Brian Nevin.

Venditto “did not formally report to work” on Friday, Oyster Bay Town spokeswoman Marta Kane said in a statement.

“He is thinking about the events of yesterday, and how they impact his ability to go forward as town supervisor, the highest priority being the welfare of the town and its residents,” Kane said.

Republicans Mangano, 54, of Bethpage, and Venditto, 67, of North Massapequa have pleaded not guilty and were each released on $500,000 bond.

The charges center on a relationship involving Mangano, Venditto and a person identified only as a co-conspirator in the 13-count indictment, but whom sources have identified as restaurateur Harendra Singh.

Mangano and Venditto are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, fraud and obstruction of justice. Mangano is also charged with extortion, and Venditto with lying to federal agents.

Mangano’s wife, Linda, is charged with obstruction and making false statements. She received more than $450,000 from the no-show job from April 2010 to August 2014, according to the indictment.

Authorities accuse Edward Mangano and Venditto of scheming to award Singh contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide food services to county agencies and secure multimillion-dollar loan guarantees for his businesses.

In exchange, Mangano and Venditto received gifts from the businessman, including “hotel and travel expenses, limousine services, free meals and other gifts,” according to the indictment.

In a statement Friday, Mangano said the allegations “demonstrate a clear lack of connection to the actual facts. ... In time, the truth will prove I did nothing wrong.”

PROSECUTORS’ TIMELINE

January 2010 to February 2015: Prosecutors said Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto engage in a scheme to solicit bribes from a restaurateur, identified by sources as Harendra Singh.

April 2010 to August 2014: Prosecutors said Linda Mangano, the county executive’s wife, gets paid more than $450,000 for a job with Singh, doing “little to no work,” while Singh gets contracts with Nassau County and Town of Oyster Bay, including concession agreements.

January 2010 to December 2013: Prosecutors said Singh is granted loan for $20 million guaranteed by amendments to concession agreements with Town of Oyster Bay. Edward Mangano “pressures” Venditto to vote on town board resolutions to amend concession agreements on Singh’s behalf.

January 2010 to February 2015: The Manganos receive massage chair, Panerai Luminor watch and hardwood flooring from Singh, prosecutors said.

March 2014 to December 2015: FBI serves eight grand jury subpoenas on Town of Oyster Bay.

Jan. 13, 2015: FBI interviews Linda Mangano at Bethpage residence.

Jan. 15, 2015 to present: The Manganos meet with FBI and “fabricate stories” to explain Linda Mangano’s employment.

Feb. 3, 2015: FBI serves Linda Mangano with grand jury subpoena also requesting records related to employment for Singh.

May 20, 2015: Linda Mangano provides “fabricated examples of work” she performed for Singh, prosecutors said.

July 1, 2015: Newsday reports Singh, involved in lawsuits that could threaten beach concession service in the Town of Oyster Bay, has financial, political and personal ties to Edward Mangano. Newsday also reports the county paid almost $240,000 to Harendra Singh, who operates numerous businesses from his headquarters in Bethpage, Mangano’s hometown, for hot meals for top county, state and federal officials after superstorm Sandy. Mangano’s campaign also rented space for his campaign headquarters from Singh in two elections, the paper reports, and Singh employed Linda Mangano at one of his companies.

Aug. 10, 2015: Newsday reports Mangano and family’s trips to the Caribbean were paid for by Singh. Among the findings:

A July 2012 trip was scheduled for St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands and a second trip, scheduled for July 2013, was for the Turks and Caicos, where Singh arranged for the Manganos to stay in a two-bedroom oceanfront suite for $4,961. An email dated June 3, 2013, sent by a travel agent to Singh, said the total cost of a trip to the Turks and Caicos for Singh, Singh’s guests and the Manganos was $17,498. A source familiar with the situation said the 2012 trip might have been canceled but that Mangano and his family went on the second trip to the Turks and Caicos.

Edward Mangano’s attorney Kevin Keating of Garden City said of those reports: “There is absolutely no story here. The Manganos and the Singhs have been friends for many, many years, lifelong friends.”

Aug. 11, 2015: Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas to investigate trips by Mangano and Oyster Bay Deputy Town Attorney Frederick Mei.

Singh’s attorney said Mangano and Singh vacationed together and split costs. Documents obtained by Newsday indicate Singh also paid for three trips taken by Mei to India and South Korea in 2010 and 2012.

Aug. 21, 2015: FBI raids Singh’s Bethpage offices.

Aug. 31, 2015: Mei resigns.

Sept. 9, 2015: Singh is arrested on a 13-count indictment. Freed on $5 million bond.

Six of the counts accused Singh of paying a bribe to a former Oyster Bay deputy town attorney to get an “indirect guarantee” of $32 million in loans for his businesses, including food concessions he ran at town beaches and a town golf course. Other charges included defrauding the IRS by not reporting millions of dollars in wages paid to employees of his restaurants and fraudulently collecting almost $1 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The latter accusation refers to Singh collecting the money for falsely claiming his Water’s Edge restaurant in Long Island City was damaged during superstorm Sandy.

Sept. 13, 2015: Singh employees tell Newsday that Edward Mangano ate for free at Singh’s restaurants.

Sept. 23, 2015: Whistleblower Christopher Briggs, a former Oyster Bay constable, tells Newsday he gave Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice documents in 2013 suggesting that Singh secured illegal loan guarantees from Oyster Bay officials and arranged and paid for vacations for Mangano, but district attorney investigators never followed up on the information.

October 2015: Town of Brookhaven severs financial ties with Singh’s company. One of his restaurants, Water’s Edge in Long Island City, closes after employees walked out complaining they hadn’t been paid.

Oct. 23, 2015: FBI interviews John Venditto.

November 2015: Newsday reports Mangano’s redacted calendar shows gaps in public appearances on dates when he may have been in Caribbean on Singh-financed trips.

Dec. 16, 2015: Singh is rearrested and held without bail. Federal prosecutors said he had violated the conditions of his release by fraudulently attempting to obtain a $146,000 loan.

Dec. 18, 2015: Venditto interviewed by FBI again and claims to have never received anything of value from Singh. Prosecutors said he received limousine services, free use of private office space, discounted rates for events and fundraisers at Singh’s venues.

February 2016: Prosecutors and defense meet to discuss a plea deal for Singh.

June 2016: Singh’s trial date set for Jan. 9, 2017.

August 2016: Singh released from jail after eight months of detention.

October 2016: Mangano and Venditto, along with Linda Mangano, were arrested and named in the 13-count indictment alleging extortion, bribery, fraud and obstruction charges.

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