CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) - Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, once among the most powerful Republicans on Long Island, was convicted on Friday at a federal corruption retrial of helping a businessman get millions of dollars in loans in exchange for lavish gifts and his wife's $100,000-a-year no-show job.
His wife, Linda Mangano, was also found guilty. Both face the possibility of substantial prison time.
Prosecutors said that Mangano used his influence as the county's top elected leader to help a restaurateur and businessman, Harenda Singh, get loan guarantees from the Town of Oyster Bay. In exchange, they said, he got gifts including a job for his wife as a food taster at Singh's restaurants.
Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Mangano insisted he and his wife were innocent.
"I am very proud of my service as county executive. I would not and could not be bribed by anyone," he said. His wife later sobbed as she thanked people who had supported them through the trial.
Mangano "sat idly by while public funds were exchanged for favors, and waited patiently in the wings to accept a payout for the plan he put in motion," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement after the conviction.
The Manganos said that any favors were because of their personal friendship with Singh, but that's not how the businessman presented things as a trial witness.
"I bribed Ed Mangano, and he did favors for me," Singh told jurors. "Whatever was needed, I took care of it."
As part of his own criminal case, Singh previously pleaded guilty to paying bribes to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in the form of campaign contributions, in an attempt to resolve a dispute with the city over a restaurant lease.
The Democratic mayor was not prosecuted. He denied taking bribes and suggested Singh pleaded guilty only because he was desperate to get leniency for other corrupt acts.
Kevin Keating, Edward Mangano's attorney, called the verdict "disappointing."
Their first trial ended in a mistrial in May 2018. The couple will be sentenced at a later date.
Information from: Newsday