Mangano verdict marks end of an era for Nassau

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MINEOLA -

A guilty verdict in Ed Mangano’s corruption retrial marks the end of an era for Nassau, as well as for the former county executive.

Mangano was twice elected to serve as the highest-ranking official in Nassau County government, but on Friday a jury determined that he betrayed the public's trust.     

Mangano remained defiant, even after the jury convicted him of corruption and found his wife Linda guilty of lying to the feds to help cover it up. The devastating verdict marks the culmination of the former Nassau county executive's shocking fall from grace.

Ten years ago, the little-known, dark-haired county legislator from Bethpage challenged two-term Democratic incumbent Nassau Executive Tom Suozzi. Mangano ran as a tax-cutter, and pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Long Island political history.

Mangano defeated Suozzi, although it wasn't quite official on Election Day. A recount later confirmed that the Bethpage Republican defeated Suozzi by less than 400 votes. 

Four years later, Mangano proved his first victory was not a fluke. With his wife by his side, he defeated Suozzi again - this time by 18 percentage points.

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He had guided the county through Superstorm Sandy, formed a bipartisan alliance with the governor and held the line on property taxes, even as the cash-strapped county remained under the control of a state watchdog board. 

But in his second term, rumors began to swirl. Reports soon emerged that Mangano's longtime friend, Harendra Singh, had been arrested by the feds. Many began to wonder out loud if Singh would "sing," and what that could mean for his old friend, the county executive.

News 12 asked Mangano about it in an interview in September of 2015. At that time, he denied any inappropriate involvement with Singh.

The federal government did not agree.

 In October of 2016, Ed and Linda Mangano were arrested, along with Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto. Mangano remained in office, but lost his own party's backing, and decided against seeking re-election.

In 2018, the first trial began. After 11 weeks, a jury acquitted Venditto.

But jurors weren't so sure about the Manganos. The trial ended with a hung jury. Federal prosecutors vowed to retry the Manganos, and they did.

Last week, the jury in the Mangano retrial delivered its verdict. Both were found guilty on multiple counts.

The man who pulled off one of the most improbable upsets in Long Island politics could only stand and watch as his wife wept and vowed that this would not be the couple's final chapter.

The Manganos maintain their innocence, and their attorneys are vowing a "vigorous appeal."

RELATED STORIES
Mangano, wife convicted on multiple counts in corruption retrial 
Curran: Mangano verdict is ‘sad reminder’ of Nassau’s ‘culture of corruption’

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