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Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto charged in federal probe

Posted at 7:39 AM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 20:57:23-04

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. – Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto were indicted Thursday on corruption charges, according to federal authorities.

U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers unsealed a 13-count indictment against Mangano, Venditto and Mangano's wife Linda. Mangano and Venditto are charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and honest services fraud.

A relationship with millionaire restaurateur Harendra Singh is at the center of an ongoing corruption investigation. Prosecutors are looking into whether Singh, who was indicted last year for bribery, received improper benefits in return for political contributions to Long Island politicians.

"Corrupt officials cause tremendous damage to our communities and their behavior has dangerous consequences," said William Sweeney, the FBI's Assistant Director in Charge in New York.

Mangano, who was elected in 2010, was also charged with extortion. He and Venditto, who was elected in 1996, allegedly accepted bribes and kickbacks from Singh between January 2010 and February 2015. Singh allegedly paid Mangano's wife Linda $450,000 over a several year period for a "no-show job" at one of his restaurants.

He also allegedly paid for Mangano family vacations to Niagara Falls, Florida and Turks and Caicos.

The Manganos were seen arriving at FBI offices with their attorney Kevin Keating. Mr. Mangano told reporters he plans to have a press conference later after leaving his home.

Venditto's attorney, Brian Griffin, declined to comment.

Spokesman Brian Nevin previously dismissed as "nonsense" allegations that Mangano had accepted free vacations from a businessman.

Mangano and Venditto face up to 20 years imprisonment each for honest services wire fraud charge. They also face up to 10 years each for the federal program bribery charge and up to five years each for the conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. Mangano faces an additional term of up to 20 years for the extortion days.

Mangano, his wife and Venditto also face up to 20 years imprisonment each for the obstruction of justice charge and up to five years each for false statement charge.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.