Ed Mangano attorney: Singh was friend of the family

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CENTRAL ISLIP -

Former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s attorney Kevin Keating portrayed the prosecution’s star witness as both a friend of the Mangano family and a ruthless businessman willing to commit fraud to succeed.

Harendra Singh was back on the stand Wednesday in the federal corruption trial of Mangano, his wife Linda and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto.

Singh testified earlier in the trial that in the days after Superstorm Sandy, he visited Mangano often at the county's Office of Emergency Management. Singh said his goal was to obtain an emergency $225,000 contract to deliver meals to the first responders who were housed in the building. During Wednesday’s cross-examination, Singh acknowledged that it was OEM Commissioner Craig Craft, not Mangano, who ultimately signed the emergency contract.

MORE: Defense attacks Singh’s credibility in Mangano-Venditto trial 
MORE: Harendra Singh breaks down in tears during 5th day of testimony

Keating also brought up Singh’s attempts to secure a bread and rolls contract with the Nassau County Jail. He had testified last week that he met regularly with Sheriff Michael Sposato at IHOP about the $200,000 contract. Keating suggested Singh had an ulterior motive – lobbying Sposato to get his multimillionaire father-in-law to invest in his businesses. Singh said that was “absolutely not true."

In another point of contention, Keating displayed an email from Mangano to Singh, in which the former county executive informs Singh that he will be visiting Singleton's for lunch with Sen. Charles Schumer. Keating suggested that Mangano did this to give his friend a "heads up" so he can benefit from having such a prestigious guest at his restaurant.

Singh quickly disagreed, saying Mangano did it because he knew Singh would pick up the bill.

Keating continued his attempts to chip away at Singh's credibility, showing how the former self-proclaimed restaurant mogul routinely falsified financial statements, tax returns and other documents related to ongoing litigation. Singh acknowledged committing those crimes.

Ed Mangano appeared to be emotional as his attorney displayed pictures from a 2012 party for his mother at Singleton's. The pictures showed the Manganos smiling and dancing with members of the Singh family. Singh admitted that the Manganos paid for that party at his restaurant.

The trial resumes Thursday.

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