Former Niles mayor Ralph Infante convicted on 22 of 32 corruption charges

The Youngstown Vindicator | Ed Runyan

In the first local criminal trial of a major Trumbull County public official in a decade, Ralph Infante was convicted of 22 criminal charges, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity throughout his 24 years as Niles mayor.

Infante looked straight ahead late Monday and did not seem to react as as long string of guilty verdicts were read for tampering with records — guilty on 13 of 16. The charge carries a penalty of up to three years in prison on each count.

One of the convictions said he failed to report on his Ohio Ethics Commission disclosure form that he received a gift of nearly $8,000 in 2007 — two free tickets to the 2007 NCAA Championship football game from Cafaro Co. executives Anthony Cafaro Sr. and Anthony Cafaro Jr.

Neither Cafaro was charged in relation to the gifts.

Infante also was found guilty of falsification for lying to an agent with the Ohio Auditor’s Office in 2015 about the tickets.

Prosecutors played for jurors an audio recording of Infante telling the investigator his wife, Judy Infante, paid for the tickets, even though he told an FBI agent on a 2009 recording that nobody paid for the tickets.

Infante, 62, will be sentenced at 10 a.m. Friday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, where his trial took place over 11 days. The jury deliberated about nine hours before reaching its verdicts.

Infante could get about 60 years in prison, though prison time is not mandatory for most of the offenses.

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