Witness testifies to Infante's handwriting on gambling pool


Testimony has resumed this morning in the Ralph Infante corruption trial with a former employee of the ITAM No. 39, the bar Infante and his wife operated, taking the stand in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

The witness is Denise Danielson, who is testifying that some of the handwriting in some of the block pools she was asked about is that of Ralph Infante, the former mayor of Niles. Block pools are a gambling device based on the outcome of sporting events, in this case, pro football.

Infante, 63, faces 41 criminal charges accusing him of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, including allegations of bribery, illegal gambling and tampering with records, during his 24 years as mayor ending in 2015.

Among the witnesses Monday were Steve Papalas, longtime Niles councilman, who testified about a contract with a Youngstown company to bill for Niles utilities, an executive for another company that wanted the contract, former Trumbull County Engineer David DeChristofaro and several city employees.

Testimony is expected to wrap up Wednesday. Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove is presiding over the trial, and two assistant attorneys general are prosecuting the case.

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