After a jury deadlocked following nine days of deliberations, a judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in a federal corruption trial that accused former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano of accepting bribes, kickbacks and a $100,000-a-year no-show job for his wife.
U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack made the decision after the jury failed to reach a consensus.
“I can no longer carry out my duties as a juror,” jury foreman Marc Tambassopoulos wrote. “I wish to be excused.”
The indictment alleged that Mangano helped Long Island businessman Harendra Singh obtain guaranteed loans in exchange for bribes and kickbacks. Singh was on the witness stand 12 days for the prosecution.
Mangano’s eyes filled with tears as he hugged the jury foreman.
“This is an emotionally painful, physically hurtful experience that I would not wish on anyone who didn’t deserve it,” Mangano said later. “I’m still processing all the emotions that go through you, but I’m obviously relieved we are going home.”
The foreman said the jury tried to be as fair as possible.
“Personally, I think they were innocent,” Tambassopoulos said. “They were best friends for 30 years and if I’m best friends for 30 years and I’m rich and I want to give my friend a present … how are you going to say it’s a bribe?”
The judge scheduled a June 28 conference to set a new trial. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said it intends to retry the Manganos.
“Sometimes in the darkest times of your life, you realize how blessed you are,” Linda Mangano said outside the courthouse. “That jury, I give them so much credit for being there day after day and I’m really just thankful.”
As part of his own criminal case, Singh pleaded guilty to paying bribes to Mayor Bill de Blasio in the form of campaign contributions, in an attempt to resolve a dispute with the city over a restaurant lease there.
The Democratic mayor was not prosecuted. He denied taking any bribes and suggested Singh pleaded guilty only because he was desperate to get leniency for other corrupt acts.