Mangano, Venditto Corruption Trial Scheduled to Start

Mangano Venditto
Not Smiling Anymore: Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto (L), Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano (R), and his wife Linda (Not Pictured) were arrested Thursday, October 20, 2016 and indicted on federal corrupution charges including a bribery scheme, obstruction of justice and extortion. (Long Island Press / Christopher Twarowski)

Jury selection begins Monday in the federal corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and ex-Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto with opening arguments scheduled to begin the next day.

Mangano’s lawyer, Kevin Keating, told Judge Joan Azrack on Thursday that important materials regarding the case, including 7,000 pages of text messages, were only turned over the night before.

“We don’t cry wolf too often,” said Keating, while explaining the defense may need more time to analyze trial exhibits for the upcoming case. Despite the late turnover of materials, Judge Azrack still plans to stick to the intended schedule.

Judge Azrack went over reasons to excuse potential jurors. People can be excused for reasons such as personal bias, financial hardship, or lack of understanding the principles of the justice system. More than 130 people remain possible jury candidates for trial that is expected to run eight weeks.

Mangano and Venditto are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. Mangano’s wife, Linda, was charged with obstruction of justice.

Mangano allegedly accepted bribes from restaurateur and friend, Harendra Singh, in order to secure kickbacks that included a no-show job for his wife. Venditto is accused of improperly backing loans on behalf of Singh, who was a town vendor. Singh has reportedly pleaded guilty and will testify at trial.

Venditto resigned three months after he was charged. Mangano left office Dec. 31 after declining to seek a third term.