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Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s campaign fundraising drops sharply

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano speaks about the

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano speaks about the 2016 county budget on Sept. 15, 2015, in Mineola. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s campaign fundraising declined sharply during the second half of last year, at the same time his relationship with an indicted restaurateur and his administration’s contracting practices came under federal scrutiny.

Mangano, a Republican, raised $111,296 between July 12, 2015, and Monday, according to a report filed Friday with the state Board of Elections. In the three preceding six-month periods, Mangano had raised $723,759, $553,147 and $993,439.

Despite the drop-off, Mangano’s campaign still has $1.3 million in the bank. He faces re-election next year, but has yet to indicate whether he will seek a third term.

The campaign spent $308,483 during the reporting period, including $150,000 in contributions to the Nassau County Republican Committee and $35,000 to Garden City criminal defense attorney Kevin Keating.

In 2015, Mangano paid Keating’s firm $55,000. Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said Keating is “counsel to the committee.”

The drop in fundraising, Nevin said, came as Mangano focused on reforming the county contracting system, which District Attorney Madeline Singas last year called a “recipe for corruption.”

A county contract was at the center of the federal corruption case against former Republican State Sen. Dean Skelos, who was convicted last month of conspiracy, bribery and extortion.

“The County Executive’s campaign committee did not fundraise while working on reforms,” Nevin said in a statement.

The most recent fundraising period also coincided with Newsday reports that Harendra Singh, a Bethpage restaurateur and Mangano friend, arranged and paid for vacations for the county executive and his family. Singh is facing unrelated federal charges of bribing a Town of Oyster Bay official in exchange for loan guarantees from the town.

Mangano has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime.

Also Friday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reported raising $5 million in contributions since July and now has $16 million in the bank.

Among his expenditures, the governor paid Elkan Abramowitz, a private attorney, $300,000 since July to represent him in a federal probe of his shuttering of the Moreland Commission, a controversial panel Cuomo created to investigate corruption.

Instead, federal prosecutors wound up investigating whether the governor improperly interfered with the panel. This week, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime related to the operation of the commission.

“These payments were for fees and expenses concerning the firm’s original engagement, as well as document production and assistance related to recent trials,” said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.

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