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LIRR disability trial: no verdict, jurors resume Monday

Joseph Rutigliano, a former United Transportation Union local

Joseph Rutigliano, a former United Transportation Union local president, exits Federal Court in Manhattan. (July 16, 2013) Credit: Charles Eckert

The jury in the Long Island Rail Road disability fraud trial completed its first full day of deliberations without reaching a verdict Friday.

Jurors are scheduled to resume deliberations Monday in federal court in Manhattan.

Rockville Centre orthopedist Dr. Peter Lesniewski, former LIRR conductor and union official Joseph Rutigliano of Holtsville, and former Railroad Retirement Board manager Marie Baran of East Meadow are accused of helping retirees file phony disability claims.

Jurors deliberated for 71/2 hours without a question, but before leaving sent out a note asking for a read-back of testimony from LIRR retirees James Maher and Christopher Parlante. Both men have pleaded guilty. They were the two witnesses who said Rutigliano put bogus information in their disability applications.

The defendants spent the day quietly chatting with their lawyers, eating with family, friends and supporters in the courthouse cafeteria, and exchanging small talk on an outdoor patio overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

Testimony in the trial began July 18.

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