Venditto acquittal surprises some of his critics

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MASSAPEQUA -

One outspoken critic of the Town of Oyster Bay government who sat in the courtroom for almost every day of the Mangano-Venditto corruption trial says he was shocked Thursday when the latter was acquitted of all charges.

As News 12 has reported, jurors found former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto not guilty of more than two dozen federal corruption charges.

"I'm not really sure why there was a seed of doubt cast in the jury's mind, but obviously there was," says Robert Ripp, of Massapequa. "I really felt the prosecution laid out their case in a superb manner."

Other town residents had mixed feelings. Some recalled high points in Venditto's 25-year political career. Others were in disbelief.

"Just because Mr. Venditto was acquitted today doesn't mean that what happened didn't happen," Ripp says. "Everything happened."

Jurors are still deliberating the charges against former Nassau Executive Ed Mangano and his wife, Linda.

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