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Power on Trial: Linda Mangano did some work, Singh says

Linda Mangano leaves federal court in Central Islip

Linda Mangano leaves federal court in Central Islip on March 28. Credit: James Carbone

Emails about work

Emails and text messages were the order of the morning as Linda Mangano’s attorney, John Carman, spent a second day hammering away at the credibility of former restaurateur Harendra Singh.

At the beginning of the session, jurors were attentive as Carman added exhibit after exhibit to the mix, in an attempt to show that the former Nassau county executive’s wife — despite Singh’s assertions to the contrary — did perform some work for Singh’s company.

By lunch break in the trial of Linda Mangano, Edward Mangano and former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, however, some jurors sat with folded arms as the exhibits and the verbal jousting between Carman and Singh seemed to go on and on.

Carman tried to get Singh to say that he had agreed to obstruct justice when, during a meeting with the Manganos after FBI agents had stopped by the family home to talk to Linda Mangano — Singh agreed to tell whoever asked that Linda Mangano worked at her job.

That was agreeing to a “fairy tale?” Carman pressed.

“At that time, I was not thinking about obstructing justice,” Singh replied.

Singh also testified that he knew nothing — or at best, very little — about a series of emails between Linda Mangano and a Singh manager and a marketing executive dealing with mailings, gift coupons, newspaper advertising and menu formats for two Singh restaurants.

In one email, Linda Mangano told a Singh manager, “If you need me to do something, I’m your gal.”

Earlier in the trial, Singh testified that Linda Mangano had a no-show marketing job with a $100,000 salary that had been requested by Edward Mangano to make up the difference in lost family income when Mangano was elected Nassau county executive.

“Did she tell you she told the FBI she did the pretty, fluffy stuff?” Carman asked.

“No,” Singh answered.

Save the Oak Beach Inn

No, the infamous Oak Beach Inn isn’t back.

It closed in 2003.

But the name lives on — or at least did later Tuesday in cross-examination when Venditto’s lawyer, Marc Agnifilo of Manhattan, asked Singh about a bar he opened on Tobay Beach in 2005, but closed two weeks later.

“Did you say you wanted it to be like the Oak Beach Inn?” Agnifilo asked Singh.

“No,” Singh said.

He also answered in the negative when Agnifilo asked whether regular patrons included motorcycle riders.

“It was a nuisance,” Agnifilo said.

“No,” Singh testified.

Singh said he opened the bar with permission from town officials — and closed it right back down at officials’ request after residents complained.

“Both Leonard Genova and Richard Porcelli came to me and said it was the supervisor who wanted to close the bar,” he said.

“They said they would make it up to me,” Singh testified.

Lost in Cleveland

“You forgot Cleveland?” Agnifilo asked Singh, after Singh left a building he bought from his brother off a list of properties he owned.

“Yeah,” Singh answered, “I bought it a long time ago.”

Resume Review

Agnifilo pushed hard to get Singh’s admission that he lied on a resume the defense put into evidence.

“Do you have a master’s degree in business administration?” he asked.

“That was an exaggeration,” Singh replied.

So was Singh’s statement that he had managed a bachelor’s degree in business administration — and that he managed 10 Burger King restaurants.

“That’s an exaggeration again,” Singh said.

“Is it a lie?” Agnifilo asked.

“It is an exaggeration again,” Singh repeated.

“Was it true?” Agnifilo pressed.

“It was not true,” Singh said.

“And so it was a lie?” Agnifilo said.

“You can say that,” Singh said.

“Did you manage 10 restaurants?” Agnifilo pressed, even harder.

“No, I did not manage 10,” Singh said.

“Therefore, this was a . . . ” Agnifilo said, pausing.

“Lie,” Singh said.

“Thank you,” Agnifilo said.

“You’re welcome,” Singh said.

“I have no more questions,” Agnifilo said.

Around the courtroom, there was laughter.

“I have more questions,” Agnifilo said, as the chuckles died down.

Singh’s denials

Did there ever come a time, Carman asked Singh during the morning Tuesday, when he told Linda Mangano — in a meeting with Edward Mangano present — “[Expletive] the FBI, I can pay you whatever I want.”

“No,” Singh answered.

“Did you say, ‘It’s my company. I can pay you whatever I want?’ ”

“No,” Singh replied.

At the defendant’s table, Edward Mangano leaned back in his chair as he directed a hard stare toward the witness stand.

Food fresh

“Do you serve old food at the Water’s Edge?” Carman asked Singh as a copy of an email about menu changes was projected onto courtroom screens.

There were a few chuckles from spectator seats — since the exhibit on the screen made mention of photographs of “old” food.

“He (the manager) is referring to the old menu and the new menu,” Singh responded.

“It is not old food?” Carman asked again.

“No,” Singh replied.

“You came up with that snappy phrase, ‘Long Island’s premiere restaurant group?’ ” Carman, at another point, asked Singh.

“Yes,” Singh replied.

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