Cecilia DowdApr 26, 2018, 8:55 pmApr 27, 2018, 2:05 pm

Witness: Contract awarded to Singh over company poised to provide emergency Sandy meals

The prosecution argues that Mangano and Singh engaged in a bribe and kickback scheme

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CENTRAL ISLIP — On Thursday, jurors in the Mangano-Venditto trial heard from the president of the Dover Group and its executive chef, whose restaurants include Peters Clam Bar, the Coral House, and the Sands on Lido Beach. The testimony related to the emergency county contract to give food to workers following Superstorm Sandy.

The prosecutor asked Dover's president, Butch Yamali, if he got the contract. He responded, "No."

But as FiOS1 News has reported, Harendra Singh got the contract.

The prosecution argues that Mangano and Singh engaged in a bribe and kickback scheme.

The defense worked to point out that at the time of Hurricane Sandy, Yamali was very busy, had flooding damage to deal with, leading him to have to relocate events and even had some water at his home. But the defense wanted to show jurors that perhaps his hands were too full and that Singh got the contract for a legitimate reason.

At the end of Yamali's testimony, a prosecutor jumped up and asked if there was a Nassau County policy on giving contracts to friends, with an immediate objection that was sustained.

Earlier Thursday, a woman named Tara Baglietto was on the stand. She worked for the Singh Hospitality Group in 2014 in a marketing position. She testified that she had never seen Linda Mangano working for the group even though she netted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the job. She testified that the Manganos went to one of Singh's restaurants — "possibly weekly" — and said their meals were "complementary." The defense, getting the point of how she would know that information, questioned if her job was to manage the wait staff. She said it wasn't.

The trial resumes on Monday.

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