A public relations executive said Sunday she has never exchanged private messages with Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano — let alone sexually suggestive ones — as she backed his assertion that alleged communications between the pair were fake.
The denial by Karin Murphy Caro, whose firm has received Nassau County contracts, came as the county’s acting police commissioner, Thomas Krumpter, said an investigation was launched more than a week ago after Mangano reported the incident.
“At this point in time, there’s no reason to believe either victim is not credible,” Krumpter said. “We believe both victims are credible.”
In a phone interview, Caro, president of Hauppauge-based BluChip Marketing, echoed Mangano in calling a printed copy of purported racy texts between the two a fabrication. She said she didn’t even have Mangano’s cell phone number.
“I have never corresponded technologically with the county executive, and have only seen him in a public setting,” Caro, 40, said. “I truly have faith that the Nassau County police investigation will get to the bottom of it.”
Mangano on Saturday night told Newsday that the messages were “an absolute lie” following a report about them by WCBS-TV. He released a statement Sunday saying his office first learned of the incident on Feb. 3, after the TV station contacted Caro.
Caro then called an aide to Mangano, and the next day, Mangano filed a report with Nassau police.
“I am outraged at this smear attempt and will take legal action against the sick individual who has sought to assassinate my character and hurt my family,” Mangano said Sunday.
Krumpter declined to say whether police had suspects.
After the allegations became public late Saturday, Nassau police issued a statement that said Mangano reported the messages as “social media impersonation attempts.”
The printed documented appeared to be “a cut and paste of a text from an ‘Ed M.’ and tweet from Karin Caro, which she denies ever sending,” the statement read. Police said WCBS-TV gave them the document.
Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, a police spokesman, later declined to show Newsday the document, despite Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin saying the county executive had “no objection” to its release. “We can’t provide any further documents because it’s under investigation,” LeBrun said.
Krumpter declined to comment on Mangano’s initial suspicion that his “political enemies” may have targeted him.
While Mangano and Caro deny a personal relationship, they have been professionally acquainted for several years. Caro has interviewed Mangano twice for her firm’s online promotional videos and, in photos posted on her website and social media accounts, has posed with Mangano and others at public events.
In a 2013 video interview filmed for her social marketing website, Caro delivers glowing praise of Mangano: “Thanks so much for giving a regular girl like me the opportunity to sit down with you. You’re an amazing guy. I follow you, I’ve been inspired by you.”
BluChip Marketing received two contracts to do promotional work for the county parks department between late 2012 and early 2014: one for $24,500 and the other for $24,000, records show. Both were in amounts just shy of the $25,000 threshold that triggers review from county lawmakers.
On Sunday, Caro said she felt bad for Mangano and his family. “I have seen him be nothing but professional and kind. I’ve met his wife, and what a terrible day for this to be happening to them,” Caro said in the interview, referring to Valentine’s Day.
Krumpter, who is expected to be formally nominated by Mangano to serve as the permanent commissioner as early as next month, said the department would conduct a “fair and impartial” inquiry despite the powerful influence that Mangano wields over the department.
“We conduct fair and impartial investigations regardless of who the complainant is,” Krumpter said.
One political opponent showed sympathy for Mangano, a Republican.
“I know Ed Mangano and I have to say I feel badly for him and give him the benefit of the doubt, which he certainly deserves,” Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said.