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Mangano jury restarts deliberations after judge denies mistrial

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to replace a juror with an alternate, and the judge instructed the panel of 12 to “begin anew” in its deliberations.

Edward and Linda Mangano outside federal court in

Edward and Linda Mangano outside federal court in Central Islip on Thursday after a mistrial was declared. Photo Credit: James Carbone

This story was reported by Nicole Fuller, Chau Lam, Robert E. Kessler, Bridget Murphy and Emily Ngo. It was written by Ngo.

The jury restarted its deliberations with a new member Tuesday after the judge denied defense attorneys’ request for a mistrial in the federal corruption case of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda.

Jurors did not render a verdict by the day’s end.

The day in court — and the 12th week of the trial in Central Islip — began with U.S. District Judge Joan M. Azrack announcing the absence of a juror, who faxed a note from her doctor as well as a note giving insight into the deliberation process.

Edward Mangano’s lawyer, Kevin Keating of Garden City, then requested a mistrial, citing the contents of the latter note, which he said alleged that there was “cursing” and “name-calling” during deliberations and which he said described a “toxic” environment in the jury room.

Linda Mangano’s lawyer, John Carman of Garden City, joined Keating in the motion for a mistrial.

But Azrack rejected the request.

She noted that jurors have not indicated that they are deadlocked and have not reported a split in opinion since Thursday.

“Jury deliberations by their nature are often passionate and heated,” she said, adding that she had yet to give jurors an Allen charge — or instructions that they continue their discussions despite their differences until they reach a verdict.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to replace dismissed juror No. 5 with alternate juror No. 1.

Azrack instructed the jury — restored to 12 members — to start over in its consideration of the multiple corruption-related charges against the Manganos.

“You must set aside and disregard your earlier deliberations and begin anew,” Azrack told them. “This is because alternate juror No. 1 was not present to hear the earlier deliberations.”

The seven women and five men of the jury weighed the charges for several hours Tuesday. They are set to return Wednesday for the eighth day in the deliberation process.

Jurors are considering prosecutors’ case against Edward Mangano — presented using testimony from five dozen witnesses and evidence in the form of more than 1,100 exhibits in a trial that began March 12 with jury selection.

Prosecutors say Edward Mangano used his public office and influence to steer two county contracts and more than $20 million in loans guaranteed by the Town of Oyster Bay to restaurateur Harendra Singh in exchange for an illegal stream of benefits.

Those alleged bribes include a no-show job for Linda Mangano that paid $450,000 between April 2010 and August 2014.

Edward Mangano, 56, of Bethpage, has pleaded not guilty to charges that include federal program bribery, honest-services wire fraud, extortion and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Linda Mangano, 54, also of Bethpage, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and making false statements to the FBI — all in connection to her job with Singh’s restaurant empire.

The Manganos’ former co-defendant, one-time Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, was acquitted Thursday on all 27 corruption-related counts against him.

Jurors delivered a partial verdict after telling Azrack they were split on the charges that the Manganos face.

Jurors carried on deliberations Friday without any notes to Azrack offering a clue on where they stood and entered the holiday weekend without a verdict on the Manganos.

On Tuesday, in arguing for a mistrial, Edward Mangano’s lawyer, Keating, told Azrack “apparently this jury stopped deliberating on Friday.”

The medical condition of the juror who was ultimately dismissed appeared “benign,” Keating said.

Azrack sealed both notes from juror No. 5.

Prosecutors opposed the motion for mistrial by Keating and Linda Mangano’s lawyer, Carman.

“It sounds like they’re having discussions back there,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Mirabile said. “It’s not grounds for a mistrial. . . . We think that she should be excused and replaced with an alternate.”

When he left court Tuesday afternoon, Keating referenced the excused juror: “The level of acrimony reported by the juror was extreme, which we believe warranted a mistrial. Now that it’s been denied, we continue to have faith in the process and we remain confident.”

Carman said of jury deliberations: “It feels like there’s a war going on in there. Unfortunately, I think it’s a war that can’t be won.”

Court was adjourned Tuesday just after 3 p.m., two hours earlier than usual because another juror had a doctor’s appointment.

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