INFANTE TRIAL | Here are the criminal charges jurors will deliberate today


WARREN — The jurors in the Ralph Infante corruption trial have begun deliberations in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

They will have jury instructions they received Friday to help them sort out the complicated list of 32 charges Infante faces.

Over the course of the two-week trial of the former Niles mayor, the people prosecutors say helped Infante gather money and power through bribery, theft in office and other offenses were named for the first time.

But nine of the 41 charges were dismissed last week during a meeting of the attorneys. As a result, some of the allegations and the people accused of being involved with Infante in those charges, are off the table.

The jurors, however, received instructions late Friday from visiting judge Patricia Cosgrove that recap the charges Infante, 62, still faces and tells what other people were part of each charge.

The following is that recap, made possible because The Vindicator recorded the jury instructions:

The first 16 charges, all felonies, are called Tampering with Records, the first nine of the 16 related to forms filled out by Infante for 2008 through 2015 as required by the Ohio Ethics Commission that prosecutors say failed to list gifts, bribery and gambling income. The last seven are related to federal and Niles income tax returns from 2010 to 2013 prosecutors say did not list those same sources of income.

Counts 17, 18, 19 and 20, Gambling and Operating a Gambling House (misdemeanors); they allege Infante earned profits from gambling.

Count 21, Soliciting Improper Compensation (misdemeanor): It alleges Infante solicited money from Niles employee Scott Shaffer in 2012 on behalf of his girlfriend, Stephanie Ford for her employment with the city of Niles.

Count 22: Soliciting Improper Compensation (misdemeanor): It alleges Infante solicited money from Niles employee Scott Shaffer in 2015 for the employment Tommie Davis.

Count 23: Theft In Office (felony): It alleges Infante committed theft when the property or service is owned by the state.

Count 24: Theft in Office (felony): It alleges Infante committed theft that was aided by his position as mayor.

Count 25: Unlawful Interest in a Public Contract (felony): In 2010, prosecutors allege, Ralph Infante illegally re-hired his brother, Joe Infante, to a job with the city.

Count 26: Bribery (felony): In 1995, prosecutors allege, Niles city employee Terry Clay performed $7,000 to $8,000 worth of work on Infante’ s property in exchange for a job for Clay’s friend, Norwood McNamara.

Count 27: Bribery (felony): In 2003, prosecutors allege, city employee Scott Shaffer paid Infante $2,500 so Shaffer could get hired to a full-time job.

Count 28: Bribery (felony): In 2012, prosecutors allege, city employee Scott Shaffer paid Infante “thousands of dollars” so Shaffer’s girlfriend, Stephanie Ford, would be hired as a full-time Niles employee.

Count 29: Bribery (felony): In 2014, prosecutors allege, Scott Shaffer bought and installed a television and air conditioning unit valued at about $2,000 in Infante’s bar, the ITAM No. 39 in McKinley Heights, at no cost.

Count 30: Bribery (felony): In 2015, prosecutors allege, Scott Shaffer paid Infante “thousands of dollars” to get Tommy Davis a job with the city of Niles.

Count 31: Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity (felony): From 1992 through 2015, prosecutors allege, Infante participated an enterprise that involved at least two corrupt acts such as bribery, theft in office, tampering with records and having an unlawful interest in a public contract.

Count 32: Falsification (misdemeanor): On Dec. 3, 2015, prosecutors allege, Infante lied to Roy Speer of the Ohio Auditor’s Office regarding NCAA Championship football tickets Infante received.

Infante could get about 80 years in prison if he were convicted of all 32 charges.

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