A federal judge Tuesday delayed the trial against outgoing Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano until March after his co-defendant, ex-Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, was recently indicted on additional charges.
Despite the new charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stemming from allegations that Venditto illegally guaranteed taxpayers would repay a town vendor’s loans if the vendor defaulted, the trial is still expected to last six-to-eight weeks before U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack.
“None of the new charges or superseding indictment have anything to do with Ed Mangano and we’re disappointed that the trial was adjourned,” said Kevin Keating, Mangano’s Garden City-based attorney. “We were looking forward to the trial. We waited more than a year for his trial. I’ve said from the beginning that he is innocent.”
The trial was originally scheduled to start Jan. 16 but was rescheduled for March 12.
Venditto has pleaded not guilty to the 21 new counts of allegedly defrauding municipal bond investors by concealing the loan guarantees. His attorneys requested the trial delay on account that they needed more time to defend the additional SEC charges. Neither Venditto nor his lawyers commented after the hearing.
The new charges come after Venditto and Mangano, both Republicans, and Mangano’s wife, Linda, pleaded not guilty to charges of running a kickback scheme in exchange for a no-show job for Linda, among other gifts.
“You want to get your life going, and just get it settled,” Mangano said. “I’ve done nothing wrong and…I’m a positive person.”
Mangano, who has rebuffed calls to resign, leaves office Dec. 31 after not seeking a third term. Democrat Laura Curran was elected last month to replace him and will become Nassau’s first female county executive Jan. 1.
Republican Joseph Saladino was elected last month to replace Venditto after Saladino was appointed to fill a vacancy in the town’s top job when Venditto resigned in January following two decades in the post.