Contractor with business ties to Nassau testifies in corruption trial
The government appears to have called its final witnesses in the nine-week federal corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, his wife Linda and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto.
Anthony Gulino, a contractor, testified Thursday that he performed work on Mangano’s home essentially free of charge.
He says he was an early fundraiser for Mangano's 2009 bid for county executive, and his businesses went on to earn more than $20 million in work with the county during Mangano's tenure in office.
He testified that Mangano contacted him about a private project at his home. He said Mangano was looking to rebuild part of his deck – specifically the railing.
Gulino said his company did the work and charged Mangano $3,600 – which Mangano paid with a check. Gulino testified that he then gave Mangano $3,600 in cash in an envelope.
He said Mangano told him, “You don’t have to do this.”
Gulino said he gave Mangano the cash because he “wanted to do something for Ed, and of course, to benefit myself."
The prosecution also called to the stand FBI forensic accountant William Delgais. The fraud examiner testified that bank records and other financial documents showed that restaurateur Harendra Singh paid for the vast majority of expenses related to limo rides taken by John Venditto and his family. Delgais also testified that Singh paid for family trips enjoyed by the Singhs and the Manganos, as well as gifts provided by the Singhs to the Manganos.
The transactions first brought up by Singh about nine weeks ago, including trips to Turks and Caicos, a therapeutic Brookstone chair and a watch for Mangano’s son, are now backed up by those financial documents.
The government did not technically rest its case Thursday, but that appears to be a formality at this point. Judge Joan Azrack excused the jury early in the afternoon and informed jurors that they will not sit on Friday.
The defense could begin to call witnesses as soon as Monday.