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Stay tuned. More corruption trials on Long Island are to come

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. Credit: James Carbone

Mark your calendars.

Because the parade of corruption-related trials is far from over.

So far, there’s been the federal retrial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who last month was found guilty of all seven counts of improperly receiving millions of dollars in referral fees in return for directing state actions that benefited a cancer doctor and two real estate developers.

He has appealed.


Then there was the federal trial of Edward Mangano, Nassau’s former county executive, Linda Mangano, his wife, and John Venditto, Oyster Bay’s former town supervisor.

Venditto was cleared on 27 counts, including federal program bribery, honest-services wire fraud and securities fraud, when the jury delivered a partial verdict last month.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Joan Azrack declared a mistrial as the jury was continuing deliberations on counts against the Manganos.

But federal prosecutors say they intend to try the pair again, and the judge set June 28 for a hearing to set a new trial date.

Venditto, meanwhile, still is facing two state corruption-related cases and a civil federal Securities and Exchange Commission action on allegations of defrauding investors for failing to disclose loan guarantees to former town concessionaire Harendra Singh in bond documents.

A procedural hearing on the state cases, which are being prosecuted by the office of Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas, is slated for Tuesday in Mineola.

Venditto, one of several former Oyster Bay officials and others named in the indictments, has pleaded not guilty.

Last week, as the Mangano jury was deliberating, Gerard Terry, a former North Hempstead Democratic leader, was sentenced to 36 months in jail after his guilty plea for failing to pay federal tax on income he earned, including that from multiple public or political jobs.

But grab that calendar again because another former political powerhouse, Dean Skelos, is slated for retrial later this month on federal charges of leveraging his position as a State Senate leader to get jobs and fees for his son, Adam, from a developer, a malpractice insurer and AbTech, a storm-water contractor hired by Nassau. His son also has been charged in the case.

And still, there is more.

Rob Walker, Mangano’s former chief deputy county executive, has pleaded not guilty to charges of obstruction of justice and lying to FBI agents.

His trial is slated for September.

And, come the new year, former Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota, and his former corruptions chief, Christopher McPartland — who have pleaded not guilty to federal charges of taking part in a cover-up of an assault by former Suffolk police Chief James Burke — are slated for trial in March.


An acquittal?

A mistrial?

And we haven’t even considered the rash of sentencings to come, of Singh, and Oyster Bay officials, who already have pleaded guilty to bribery and other corruption-related counts.

Even so, plentiful readers offered plentiful opinions at the conclusion of the long trial in the Mangano/Venditto case, the partial verdict acquitting Venditto, and last week’s declaration of a mistrial on the counts remaining against the Manganos.

But division over the outcome of one case obscures a key question: Other than ramped-up federal or (for some reason, far less frequent) state prosecutions, what will it take to blunt Long Island’s alchemy of power, money and politics — which too often seeds optimal opportunities for corruption?

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