Judge declares mistrial in Mangano corruption trial

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CENTRAL ISLIP -

U.S. District Judge Joan M. Azrack declared a mistrial Thursday in the federal corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his wife, Linda.

It was the culmination of a 12-week trial and nine days of deliberations.

The jury foreman told reporters that “This was a deadlocked jury" and cited the length of the trial as one of the reasons why a verdict wasn’t hashed out.

Prosecutors in the trial, which began on March 12 and included 60 witnesses and more than 1,100 pieces of evidence, aimed to prove that Mangano and former Town Supervisor John Venditto leveraged their positions to receive bribes and kickbacks from restaurateur Harendra Singh.

Singh, the prosecution’s star witness, testified that he had a quid pro quo relationship with the officials, who helped him secure millions in town-backed loan guarantees and county contracts.

Last week, jurors found former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto not guilty of all charges -- more than two dozen altogether.

MORE: Power on Trial

The foreman, named Marc, described the jury as "split" but says he personally believed the prosecution failed to prove that Ed Mangano received bribes in exchange for official actions, or that Linda Mangano lied to the FBI.

“To me, they were best friends of 30 years, and if I’m friends with somebody for 30 years, and I'm rich and I want to give my friend a present, to me it’s just a gift, a birthday gift. How are you going to say it’s a bribe?” said the foreman.

Ed Mangano's attorney Kevin Keating said he believes the prosecution did not have the evidence to bring this to trial, let alone get a conviction.

Ed and Linda Mangano were met by the media outside the Central Islip courthouse.

"Words can't describe the emotional hurt and pain and suffering that a trial puts on one and one's family and one's loved ones,” said Ed Mangano. "It is truly a sentence, in and of itself, a trial. It is emotionally draining. It is physically hurtful...It's something I don't wish on anyone."

“I’m going to look at this as the glass is half full instead of half empty," said Linda Mangano, who was accused of lying to the FBI. "I have learned that... sometimes in the darkest times of your life, you realize how blessed you are."

The jury foreman says he was in favor of acquittal for the Manganos. Ed and Linda Mangano hugged him and thanked him after he was finished speaking with reporters.

A spokesman did not have a comment about the mistrial but said the U.S. Attorney's Office intends to retry Ed and Linda Mangano.

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