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Mangano files motion seeking to dismiss federal corruption charges

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in Bethpage on

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in Bethpage on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano filed a voluminous motion late Friday that asks a federal judge to throw out the criminal corruption case against him.

Attempting to refute an October indictment, Mangano’s attorney, Kevin Keating of Garden City, asserted that his client had nothing to do with a businessman getting a contract to provide food to county workers in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Mangano and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, fraud and obstruction of justice. Mangano’s wife Linda is charged with obstruction and making false statements. They have pleaded not guilty.

The main thrust of the government’s case involves the defendants’ allegedly receiving kickbacks in return for favors from an unnamed businessman, who sources have identified as restaurateur Harendra Singh.

Keating also argues in papers filed in federal court in Central Islip that a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June throwing out the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell fatally undermines the government’s theory that Mangano acted in a corrupt way as a public official.

The 278-page filing also raises numerous technical reasons why the case should be dismissed.

Should the case move forward, Keating asked the judge to order separate trials for Mangano and his wife, and Venditto.

Keating asserted that it is unfair to try the three together because their defenses could be contradictory.

“Our motion seeks dismissal of an indictment that never should have been brought,” Keating said Friday night. “It is factually and legally flawed and baseless.”

U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack has set a Jan. 15 trial date in the case. Venditto and Linda Mangano have until Tuesday to file their own motions.

Eastern District federal prosecutors Catherine Mirabile, Raymond Tierney and Lara Treinis Gatz have until October to respond to the defense motions.

A spokesman for the Eastern District, John Marzulli, declined to comment.

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