A hug between former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda, soon after the judge declared a mistrial in their federal case punctuated an emotional outpouring that continued outside the courthouse.
Quoting a Bible verse, the former county executive spoke Thursday of the difficulty of getting through all they had faced so far, from what he called being “unjustly accused” to a trial he described as “all-consuming.”
While the Manganos showed obvious relief, the likely prospect of a retrial looms. Their former co-defendant, former Town of Oyster Bay supervisor John Venditto, won an acquittal last week.
Edward Mangano remarked that the process was “about your liberty and being able to stay free” and said the past months were an emotionally devastating time for his family.
“Words can’t describe the emotional pain and hurt and suffering that a trial puts on one and one’s family and one’s loved one. It is, you know, truly a sentence in and of itself, a trial,” he said. “It is emotionally draining, it is physically hurtful. I don’t know how to describe it other than it’s something that I don’t wish on anyone that doesn’t deserve it.”
Linda Mangano praised the support system that she said surrounded the couple during the 12-week trial. “I’m gonna look at this as the glass is half full instead of half empty. And I really have to say that I have learned throughout this whole thing that sometimes in the darkest times of your life, you realize how blessed you are,” she said. “I have amazing family and friends.”
But even the word “family” brought mixed emotions for the Manganos on Thursday after a trial in which a longtime friend, Harendra Singh, testified against them as the government’s star witness. As part of his testimony, Singh told jurors he bribed Mangano with a series of perks that included a $450,000 no-show job for Linda Mangano.
Edward Mangano struggled to stay composed as he spoke after the mistrial about Singh and his role in the prosecution’s case.
“That’s one of the hardest things. . . . We’re family. What do you say about your family?” he said.
When pressed, he added: “I’m gonna say I have a lot of love for . . . a lot of the Singhs. And I wish Harendra Singh peace. I wish him peace. And his family peace as well.”
Asked about a retrial, Kevin Keating, Edward Mangano’s attorney, said the defense was “ready to fight another day if that happens.”
John Carman, Linda Mangano’s attorney, said after speaking with jurors that “there was a strong faction of support for the Manganos and a not-guilty verdict.” Speaking particularly of his client, Carman added that he hoped the government would “think honestly about the case they brought, which is substantially the case they’d have to bring if they choose to go forward with this.”
In the end, Edward Mangano said the decision about a retrial was “something that’s not in our control.”
Mangano said “You don’t really think of your future too much” during a federal trial.
“You think of, you know, what’s happening today, what’s happening tomorrow,” Edward Mangano said of the last several months, adding: “And now it’s time to actually think about the future. So I will.”
But in the short term, he told reporters, he had other plans for the rest of his family’s evening.
“I think pizza,” he joked.