And the wait goes on
At almost 9 a.m., on getaway day for the holiday heralding the summer to come, the Alfonse D’Amato Courthouse was like a tomb. Courtroom 920 was locked, and the hallway was quiet — save for jurors arriving in preparation to begin another day of deliberations.
On Thursday, jurors delivered a partial verdict, acquitting John Venditto, Oyster Bay’s former town supervisor, on all charges.
On Friday, they returned to continue deliberations on charges relating to Edward Mangano, Nassau’s former county executive, and Linda Mangano, his wife.
Jurors late Thursday asked for Harendra Singh’s testimony relating to a bread-and-rolls contract the county awarded to his wife, Ruby — which she later declined.
They also asked about Singh’s testimony related to a series of 2015 video clips the jury watched on Wednesday of Singh, FBI agents, an attorney and Edward and Linda Mangano going into and out of the Mangano home.
They received those transcripts Friday morning.
And then, for lawyers, defendants and spectators alike, the wait began.
“It’s snowing outside,” John Carman, Linda Mangano’s attorney, joked at one point, referencing the passing of the seasons during the trial that started in March and — come Tuesday — will go into its 12th week.
During that time, the view from the courtroom hallway morphed from bare-limbed to fully blossomed trees, and from gray, cold and snowy days to clear blue and warm ones.
On Friday, as jurors continued deliberations, U.S. District Court Judge Joan Azrack never made an appearance in the courtroom. And the jury sent no notes.
Toward the end of the day, the judge’s clerk told spectators that jurors would be dismissed from the jury room at 5 p.m.
Afterward, the courtroom cleared out, too.
The chairs Venditto and his two attorneys occupied for almost 11 weeks until his acquittal were empty on Friday.
And table space, where binders, computers and piles of papers once rested, looked to be as clean as a whistle.
In the courtroom, Mangano supporters had room to spread out — across benches once occupied by Venditto’s family.
But while the top of the J-shaped defense table was clear, its elbow remained occupied by Mangano, his wife, Linda, and their defense teams.
Throughout the day, Linda Mangano spent more time in the hallway with supporters than at the defense table. Edward Mangano spent most of his time in the courtroom.
Friends and family visited the couple throughout the day — the sixth day of jury deliberation. And the first day that the Manganos had to await the jury’s decision, at the defendant’s table, alone.
Asked, and answered
Quite a few readers want to know whether Oyster Bay or Nassau County taxpayers are paying legal bills for Mangano, his wife, Linda, and Venditto.
The short answer, according to their attorneys, is no.
Mangano and Venditto have the option of using campaign funds for legal expenses.
Mangano is using campaign funds, as is allowed by state law.
Venditto, according to his attorney, is not.
Linda Mangano, who never held elective office, has no campaign fund.
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