Former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano spent a dozen weeks on trial earlier this year over federal corruption charges, and his time in court cost him $900,000, according to campaign finance filings with the state’s Board of Elections.
The funds come from the “Friends of Ed Mangano” account, which was established in 2009 when Mangano was first running for county executive.
Over the first half of this year, the account made payments of $400,000, $300,000, and $200,000 to Garden City lawyer Kevin Keating, who served as Mangano’s defense attorney.
Mangano and his wife Linda will return to court on Oct. 9 for a retrial, after their 12-week trial earlier this year could not reach a verdict on the couple.
The Manganos and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto were on trial for their relationship with restaurateur Harendra Singh and whether Singh rewarded the trio with gifts in exchange for lucrative deals and county contracts.
Edward Mangano and Venditto were charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and honest services wire fraud. Mangano was additionally charged with extortion and Venditto with securities fraud.
Linda Mangano is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements to the FBI and obstruction of justice. All three pleaded not guilty.
Venditto was found to be not guilty in May, but an increasingly contentious jury could not reach a verdict on the Manganos.
According to campaign filings, “Friends of Ed Mangano” has paid Keating $1.23 million since 2015. But after the latest round of payments, the account now has a balance of just $95,668.48.
In addition to the payments to Keating, the account was used to pay for a court reporter ($1,627.47), office supplies ($1,083.25) software ($3,780) and several trips to Numa’s Florist in Wantagh ($355.76). In total, $918,408.32 was spent from the “Friends” account in the first half of 2018.
Mangano served two terms as county executive, winning re-election in 2013. According to state election law, elected officials can use campaign accounts to pay their criminal defense costs.
Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) also dipped into his campaign funds for $1.085 million in legal costs since 2015; he and his son Adam were nonetheless found guilty of corruption earlier this month.
Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.