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« Stirfry

Antonini must be chirping like a bird

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published May 16, 2011

With the filing of a federal bill of information charging Mahoning County Treasurer Lisa Antonini with one count of honest service mail fraud (she concealed a campaign gift), federal prosecutors have concluded that she has knowledge important to their ongoing investigation into government corruption in Mahoning County.

The feds don’t make deals unless they believe that whatever is being shared by the target will help them nab big fish. Remember, that’s what they did with Youngstown shopping center developer J.J. Cafaro in the Jim Traficant criminal trial. Cafaro admitted he had given then-Congressman Traficant $13,000 in cash. That testimony was a major factor in the former county sheriff’s conviction and eight-year federal prison sentence. Cafaro, who was convicted on various criminal charges, did not spend one day in prison for those crimes.

So, what does Antonini have to offer? She was chairwoman of the county Democratic Party and county treasurer when she had dealings with the unnamed businessman who gave her the $3,000, in cash, which she did not report, and a check for $200, which she reported.

Federal prosecutors play hardball when they have the goods on you — especially if you’re an elected official in Mahoning County — and so they must believe that the information Antonini is sharing will not only enable them to go after the unnamed businessman, but also other officeholders.

On April 24, this writer’s Sunday column in The Vindicator was headlined, “Is Cafaro a target of feds?” The Cafaro in question is Anthony Cafaro Sr., now retired president of the Cafaro Co. The piece ended with this: “Here’s another whisper: A Mahoning County officeholder is supposedly talking to the FBI.” It was Antonini.

Now, with the former county treasurer — she resigned today (Monday) — admitting to wrongdoing, look for other government officials whose hands aren’t clean to want to make a deal with the feds. There isn’t any benefit in challenging the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to “take your best shot” — as Traficant did.


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Don't hold your breath on any of the Cafaros going down . They have a long history of taking others down and saving their own skin .

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago



Another contributor to Torricelli's legal defense fund is former Congressman Frank Guarini, Chairman of the National Italian American Foundation. This organization made headlines in 1998 when it joined with the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) in calling for a demonstration outside the Manhattan offices of the producers of the hit HBO series The SOPRANOS, which both organizations claimed reinforced negative stereotypes about Italian-Americans. The demonstration was called off after reports in the Media revealed that NECO President William Fugazy was a convicted felon named in Court proceedings as a Mafia Associate. Fugazy was one of many convicted felons who received a

"Presidential Pardon from Bill Clinton during the final hours of his Administration. "

"Among the Board of Directors of the National Italian American Foundation is John J. Cafaro, President of the Cafaro Company of Youngstown, Ohio."

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3truckman1(2 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


The Mahoning county Democratic Committee announces Lisa Antonini's appointment to a "recently resurrected" Mahoning County Democratic committee.
In a press conference, last evening, Democratic party leaders, announced that Lisa Antonini would be responsible for re-organizing the old "TRAFICANT for CONGRESS" committee that was mothballed upon Traficant's conviction and incarceration. A committee member who did not want to be identified is quoted as saying, "Jimbo strayed from our party's ideals, when he attempted to be placed on last fall's ballot as an independent." They went on to say that, "With the influence of some of the "new generation" Democratic leaders, such as Ms. Antonini, we may be able to entice Traficant to come home to where he belongs. After all, there exists a common bond between the two of them."
This committee member also pointed out that Antonini's appointment is contingent upon her plea and subsequent sentencing, but that he believes she will be paroled in advance of the next congressional race.

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