Singh describes lobbying methods in Mangano corruption trial
Harendra Singh spoke about how he would methodically lobby for the things he wanted during his third day of testimony in the federal corruption case against former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, his wife Linda, and former Town Supervisor John Venditto.
When Ed Mangano's son turned 21, Singh said he bought Sal Mangano a Panerai Luminor watch worth $7,000. Singh says it was far more expensive than any watch he owned, but he bought it anyway because he said the county executive asked him to.
“He requested me to buy the watch for his son and I need him to do favors in Nassau County... I had a lot of investments in the county and the Town of Oyster Bay, and I needed these people to help me,” Singh testified.
In the days after Superstorm Sandy, Singh said he quickly obtained an emergency $225,000 contract to deliver meals around the clock for the first responders who were housed in the county's Office of Emergency Management building in Bethpage. Singh said while the rank-and-file workers ate chicken and pasta, special meals were delivered to the office where Mangano and his department commissioners were stationed – featuring steak, shrimp and more.
In one text message exchange entered into evidence, then-Nassau Sheriff Michael Sposato texted Singh:
Sposato: Did u bring shrimp
Singh: God bless FEMA
Singh: God bless FEMA
Singh testified that he expected the federal government to pick up the tab for the meals.
He said that he also won a bread and rolls contract with the Nassau County Jail after meeting with Sheriff Sposato. Singh testified that he would meet with him once a month at the IHOP near the jail. When asked why they would meet at IHOP, Singh replied that the sheriff liked the pancakes, prompting a chuckle from the jury. He also said he got the sheriff a new iPhone.
The prosecution’s star witness also described the circumstances surrounding a $3,000 chair he bought for Mangano. He said that Mangano commented on how much he liked the chair during a birthday party at Singh’s home. Singh then bought the former county executive that same chair and had it delivered to him with a birthday message. Since the chair was delivered in September and Mangano’s birthday is in March, the prosecution asked why a birthday message was attached. Singh replied that it was an effort to hide their quid pro quo relationship.
Singh also testified about purchasing hardwood flooring for the Mangano home, and he spoke about family vacations for which he foot the bill.
Wednesday’s court date has been canceled due to the impending nor’easter. The trial will resume on Thursday.