Former Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto was found by a jury to be not guilty on all counts of political corruption, according to a Newsday report.
The decision brings Venditto’s time at the federal District Court in Central Islip to an end, where he, former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Mangano’s wife Linda have been on trial for 11 weeks.
According to Newsday, the jury’s decision on Venditto was unanimous, while the jurors are still split on a verdict for the Manganos.
Venditto was charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and honest services wire fraud. Restaurateur Harendra Singh testified that he had bribed Venditto with free meals and limousine rides in exchange for millions in town-guaranteed loans.
“From the very first day I started in law school I have had nothing but great faith in our justice system and the events of today confirm that faith,” Venditto told reporters after the verdict Thursday, according to a Newsday report.
Venditto’s son, state Sen. Michael Venditto, also praised the decision.
“God is good and protects his chosen people,” he said, according to Newsday.
Like Venditto, Mangano was charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and honest services wire fraud. He 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.