Updated 5:27 pm
Mangano, his wife, and Venditto all pleaded "not guilty" at their arraignment and were released after posting bond. Mangano says he is innocent and will not resign despite calls to do so from Nassau County Republican candidates who are on the ballot this Election Day.
"I have an opportunity, when at the proper time, to present my evidence that rebukes any of this nonsense that I would ever do anything that sacrifices my oath of office," Mangano says.
Mangano, his wife, and Venditto are due back in court on December 7.
Updated 1:56 pm
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, his wife Linda, and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto were arrested on bribery and corruption charges Thursday morning.
U.S. Attorney Robert Capers says Mangano extorted restaurant owner Harendra Singh for vacations, gifts and a $450,000 no-show job as a food taster for his wife, Linda Mangano. Capers says the bribes were in exchange for loans and lucrative contracts to provide food services to the county.
“Sadly, we are getting confronted with public officials who have alleged to use their positions of trust, in this case the highest elected official in Nassau County and in the Town of Oyster Bay, for their own corrupt benefit, thereby abusing the public trust,” Capers says.
The Town of Oyster Bay also guaranteed loans worth $20 million. Some of those loans are now in default putting taxpayers on the hook.
William Sweeney, assistant director of the FBI’s Long Island field office, says, “In exchange they and members of their family got gifts and services and services in the form of meals, limousine services, travel expenses, even a massage chair, among other things."
Singh, the restaurant owner, was arrested last year for allegedly offering a bribe to an Oyster Bay town official and for improperly collecting over $1 million from FEMA in Superstorm Sandy relief.
Mangano, his wife, and Venditto were arraigned Thursday afternoon at Federal Court in Central Islip. Mangano appeared haggared in court as he pleaded "not guilty" and posted $500,000. He surrendered his passport and shotgun, and agreed to travel restrictions.
Prosecutors say, if convicted, Mangano and Venditto could face 30 years in prison.
Nassau County Republicans who are on the ballot this Election Day are calling on County Executive Ed Mangano and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto to immediately resign following their indictments on federal corruption charges.
State Senator Jack Martins, who is in a tight race to replace Congressman Steve Israel in Long Island’s 3rd District, says it’s important that the business of government not be disrupted by their fellow Republicans’ legal problems.
He was joined in front of the County Office Building by state Senators Carl Marcellino and Kemp Hannon, and by Republican senate candidates Elaine Phillips and Christopher McGrath.
Martins is calling on the Nassau County Legislature and Oyster Bay Town Board to immediately select replacements for Mangano and Venditto.
Noticeably absent was state Senator Michael Venditto, the son of the indicted town supervisor.