The attorney for Edward Mangano asked a federal judge Tuesday to throw out most of the corruption convictions against the former Nassau county executive or grant him a new trial, based on new evidence and an appeals court ruling.
Attorney Kevin Keating cited what he said were contradictory testimony by former restaurateur Harendra Singh, the star prosecution witness against Mangano, in another trial, as well as recent court rulings dismissing some corruption counts against former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
The first of the two motions, filed in federal court in Central Islip, says Singh has testified in a separate civil trial that Mangano was not involved in the $20 million bribery scheme that he said Mangano was involved in during the former county executive's criminal trial last year.
In his second motion, Keating asserted that a recent federal appeals court ruling dismissing some of Silver's convictions on statute of limitations grounds directly parallels Mangano’s case. As a result, he said, the Mangano convictions should similarly be thrown out.
A jury in March found Edward 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 commit obstruction of justice.
If Keating’s motions are granted, the only remaining charge against Mangano would involve obstruction, which carries a relatively minor sentence compared to the up to 20 years other convictions could call for.
Eastern District spokesman John Marzulli declined to comment Tuesday.
Mangano was tried with his wife, Linda, who was convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and two counts of making false statements to the FBI. Linda Mangano’s attorney, John Carman, has not filed any recent motions in her case and could not be reached for comment.
Prosecutors said Singh bribed Edward Mangano with a number of items, including a $450,000 no-show job for Linda Mangano, in order to help get Singh $20 million in loan guarantees from the Town of Oyster Bay, as well as contracts to supply bread and rolls to the county jail and food to emergency workers during superstorm Sandy.
The loan guarantees were supposedly to help operate the town’s food venues, including the Woodlands restaurant.
Edward Mangano was convicted of involvement in the Town of Oyster Bay loan-guarantee scheme, but acquitted of the counts related to the Nassau County contracts.
But in his papers Keating noted that in a separate civil trial, Singh apparently said that Mangano was not involved in the Town of Oyster Bay scheme.
That civil trial involved Singh’s suing two former associates in Nassau State Supreme Court for allegedly failing to pay him $1.2 million for a share in his concession to operate the Woodlands.
Keating said that in a deposition in that case in August, Singh was asked whether his own guilty plea connected to the Mangano case relates to the loan-guarantee situation, and replied, “I do not believe so.” And earlier in the civil trial Singh had said his bribes to Mangano had “nothing to do with the Town of Oyster Bay,” the motion said.
Singh’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
In addition, Keating says that Mangano was convicted based on prosecutors’ assertions that Edward Mangano engaged in a continuing corrupt scheme with Singh.
But the Silver decision required that for each stage of the scheme, there had to be, in effect, a specific quid pro quo. That was not the situation in the Silver case, nor in the Edward Mangano case, Keating argues.The statute of limitations on most of Edward Mangano’s convictions runs for five years. The Oyster Bay loan scheme occurred in 2010. But the Manganos were not charged until 2016.
With Edward Mangano not being convicted of the Nassau contract-related charges, under the Silver ruling, he should not be charged with the Oyster Bay loan scheme because the statute of limitations had expired, Keating argues.