Ed Mangano, ex-Nassau County Executive, found guilty in corruption retrial

CENTRAL ISLIP, Long Island (WABC) -- Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife were found guilty in their federal corruption retrial Friday.

Ed Mangano was convicted of bribery, wire fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice, but he was found not guilty of honest services wire fraud and extortion. He vowed to appeal.

"I'm very proud of my service as county executive," he said outside of court after the verdict. "I would not and could not be bribed by anyone. The jury saw that. This crazy confusion over how this thing is written, that's something the attorneys can deal with. We remain confident that will be vindicated."

Mangano was accused of helping Long Island businessman Harendra Singh obtain guaranteed loans in exchange for lavish gifts, including a $7,000 watch for Mangano's son, a $3,600 massage chair, and a $450,000-a-year, no-show job for his wife at one of Singh's restaurants.

"Edward Mangano put the Town of Oyster Bay at grave financial risk," US Attorney Richard Donoghue said. "As the schemes were uncovered, the Manganos obstructed justice, and Linda repeatedly lied to FBI agents and prosecutors. Residents of Nassau County trusted Edward Managno to carry out his duties faithfully and honestly. He betrayed that trust for personal gain."

In closing arguments, Linda Mangano's attorney described Singh as a "treacherous person" and a liar. Defense attorney John Carman told jurors that it would have been strange for Linda not to have taken a job with Singh, "someone she believed to be a close friend."

"We are going to go home and take care of Linda, who clearly should not have been charged in the first instance," Ed Mangano said. "Anyone who sat in that courtroom understood that, I think. That's very hurtful to us, hurtful that Linda has to go through this."

Carman suggested the FBI "set a trap" for the GOP official's wife after she agreed to cooperate. He also attacked the government, saying it "failed miserably, miserably to make a case against her."

"I guess there's a sense of relief it's over, but I can't stop fighting for what's right," Linda Mangano said. "And thank you to everybody who came to support us, was here for our family, thank you. We are going to fight forward."

The Manganos said they had a two-decade personal friendship with Singh, long before the Republican was elected, and that any gifts or favors between the families had nothing to do with his office.

In its closing arguments, prosecutors accused the Manganos of breaking the public's trust by accepting bribes from Singh and then trying to cover it up by lying to authorities.

"It's a tough legal system, it's a brutal legal system, is a long, long emotionally draining, financially draining," Ed Mangano said. "It is really really difficult on our family, Linda especially, my kids, my parents, to sit here week after week to hear these things. Unfortunately, our system is much less a quest for the truth than it is to convict at almost any chance."

The couple's first trial ended in a mistrial in May, when a jury in Central Islip failed to reach a verdict after nine days of deliberations.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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