Mangano mistrial surprises many residents

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WOODBURY -

As news of former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano's trial being declared a mistrial spread, many residents reacted with a mix of surprise and disappointment.

As News 12 has reported, Mangano and his wife Linda were facing federal corruption charges. Former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto was also a defendant in the 12-week trial, but a jury declared him not guilty before failing to reach a verdict on the Manganos.

"There should have been something to sway the jurors," says John Kinsedahl, of Uniondale. "I'm really surprised."

Prosecutors argued that prominent restaurateur Harendra Singh, who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities, exchanged bribes and kickbacks with Mangano in return for business favors.

Among those bribes was an alleged $100,000-a-year no-show job for Linda Mangano at one of Singh's restaurants.

"He needs to go to jail," Malverne resident JoAnn Zenewitz says of the former county executive. "I think he's a crook, and I think his wife -- she did a job, she got paid for a job and never showed up."

Joel Schwitzer, of Plainview, said he thinks the jurors tried to avoid a tough decision.

"I think it was a complicated case," he says. "I think the jury just took the easy way out."

For her part, a woman who identified herself as juror No. 5 says she wishes her peers hadn't been stuck in an impasse.

"I spent the last 12 weeks of my life here, and I would've liked to have seen it through," she says.

Federal prosecutors say they plan to retry the case. A hearing next month could determine the new trial date.

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