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Mangano jury sends third note but no verdict on day five of deliberations

Linda and Edward and Mangano arrive at federal

Linda and Edward and Mangano arrive at federal court in Central Islip on Thursday. Credit: James Carbone

This story was reported by Stefanie Dazio, Nicole Fuller, Robert E. Kessler, Bridget Murphy and Andrew Smith.  It was written by Murphy.

The jury in the corruption retrial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife began its fifth day of deliberations Thursday by requesting testimony related to false statements prosecutors say Linda Mangano made.

The panel didn’t reach a verdict or send any other messages to U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack after the 9:47 a.m. note that asked in part for testimony from two prosecution witnesses.

The jury has been considering the fate of the former Republican leader and Linda Mangano, who turned 56 on Thursday, for more than 30 hours.

The panel will return to its task at the federal courthouse in Central Islip on Friday morning.

Thursday, jurors requested the testimony of Assemb. Michael Montesano.

Early in the trial, the former NYPD detective said a GOP official pressured him in February 2010 to spend his office’s full staff budget on a position for the then-county executive’s wife.

“I told him I couldn’t do that,” Montesano (R-Glen Head) recalled telling Oyster Bay Republican Committee leader Jim Picken about hiring Linda Mangano.

Montesano also said the conversation took place on the night he prevailed in a special election, before he took public office for the first time.

Prosecutors have alleged former restaurateur Harendra Singh gave Linda Mangano a “no-show” job in April 2010 as a bribe for her politician husband — an accusation the defense denies.

The jury’s note Thursday also asked for a copy of a stipulation, or agreement, the prosecution and defense made relating to the use of Google’s email service, gmail.

The stipulation says the email exchange doesn’t maintain any computer servers in New York, and so gmail traffic sent to or from New York traveled interstate.

One of the wire fraud charges against Edward Mangano, 56, alleges an employee of Singh sent an interstate email in November 2012 to a Nassau County employee about Singh’s flagship property, H.R. Singletons, handling catering for the county.

The U.S. attorney’s office has accused Edward Mangano of steering to Singh in November 2012 a no-bid contract to provide meals for relief workers at a county emergency operations center after superstorm Sandy.

Prosecutors also say the then-county executive made sure Singh got a bread and rolls contract for Nassau’s jail and pushed through Town of Oyster Bay-backed loans for the restaurateur despite a warning from an outside attorney for the town that such a deal would be illegal.

The jury on Thursday also asked for the testimony of witness Karen Dallago, a hospitality design firm owner who testified Singh hired her in 2012 to renovate the space at his now-defunct East Meadow restaurant Fuego Picante.

Dallago said she interacted with Singh, his executive chef and two other outside contractors, but never Linda Mangano.

Dallago said she went to meetings to discuss colors, concepts and menu design for Fuego Picante and Singh’s Chow Down Diner, but the county executive’s wife wasn’t involved.

One of the allegations against Linda Mangano is that she lied to the FBI by saying she could have been employed by Montesano, instead of Singh, but declined an $80,000-a-year position with the politician.

The indictment also accuses Linda Mangano of lying by saying she handled menu changes and new color schemes for Singh’s restaurants and provided input on food on the menu at restaurants that included Fuego Picante.

Besides a “no-show” job for Linda Mangano, prosecutors say Singh bribed Edward Mangano with free meals and vacations, two luxury chairs, a hardwood floor for the Manganos’ bedroom and a $7,300 wristwatch for one of their sons for his 21st birthday.

However, the defense contends Singh gave the gifts as a longtime family friend and that Edward Mangano never reciprocated with any official government action.

The jury of eight women and four men didn’t send any notes Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the panel requested testimony from three witnesses whose testimony related to the accusation that Edward Mangano pushed through Town of Oyster Bay-backed loans for Singh despite a warning from the town’s outside counsel.

On Monday, jurors asked for the testimony of an FBI agent who had described Linda Mangano’s alleged lies about her employment with Singh.

Prosecutors say the Bethpage couple, who maintain innocence, conspired to cover up Singh’s bribes after the FBI began investigating.

But the defense accused the FBI of setting a trap for Linda Mangano in her meetings with investigators and lambasted the FBI’s note-taking method. The government said her attorney, present at two of the three meetings, could have recorded the sessions as well.

Edward Mangano is standing trial on charges that include bribery, extortion and conspiracy.

Linda Mangano is standing trial on offenses that include lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice.

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