Former Mangano aide indicted on federal charges

A former Ed Mangano aide and former Republican state assemblyman has been indicted on federal charges.
Rob Walker, of Hicksville, served as chief deputy to the former Nassau County executive for eight years.
The 43-year-old pleaded not guilty Thursday to one count of making false statements to the FBI and one count of obstruction of justice.
According to the federal indictment against him, Walker accepted a trip to a Notre Dame football game, as well as $5,000 from a Nassau County contractor back in 2014. The indictment says that after Walker learned that prosecutors were looking into the $5,000 payment in 2017, "Walker urged the contractor to provide a false explanation to the grand jury concerning both the character of the payment and the reasons for the payment."
Walker then allegedly returned the money during a meeting with the contractor at a Hicksville park, a meeting that prosecutors say was under surveillance.
After Thursday’s arraignment, Walker's attorney said the contractor in question is a longtime friend of Walker's, and that there was nothing illegal about their relationship.
Walker was released on a $200,000 bond secured by his Hicksville home. He's due back in court on May 16.
The indictment comes weeks before the scheduled start of Mangano's corruption trial.