Judge orders separate trials for Infante/Nader
By Jordan Cohen
Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove has issued a judgment entry separating the public corruption trials of former Niles Mayor Ralph Infante and Charles Nader, the ex-city auditor.
The judge agreed to a motion filed by Infante’s defense attorney, John Juhasz, who argued that if both men were tried together, he might be unable to cross-examine Nader – who could refuse to testify.
Juhasz, in a court filing, cites Nader’s allegation that Infante, while serving as mayor, tried to order the auditor to approve rehiring the mayor’s brother for a city position, which would be illegal.
Special Prosecutor Daniel Kasaris, senior assistant Ohio attorney general, did not contest the motion.
The judge and attorneys conducted a judicial conference call Friday. Juhasz said he could not provide specifics because of the judge’s existing order barring attorneys from publicly discussing the case.
Infante, 61, is charged with 41 counts including bribery, theft in office and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Nader, 64, faces nine counts that include theft in office, tampering with records and unlawful interest in a public contract.
Infante’s wife, Judy, 68, is charged with seven counts of tampering with records.
Infante’s trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 11.
Judge Cosgrove’s entry indicates she will issue an amended order setting pre-trial and trial dates for Nader.