Prosecutors: Former Niles mayor let Scrappers use city water for free

Infante served as the Mayor of Niles for 24 years, from 1992 to 2015

Former Niles mayor, Ralph Infante, pleaded not guilty to 56 counts.

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Prosecutors released new court filings Thursday that spell out allegations against Niles’ former mayor, including that he let the Mahoning Valley Scrappers use city water to water the baseball field for free.

The 33-page Bill of Particulars lists the charges against Ralph Infante and evidence prosecutors will use in their case against him.

According to the document, Infante faces 58 charges, including tampering with records, bribery, operating a gambling house and theft in office, among others.

READ: Evidence against Ralph Infante (PDF)

He was indicted in November and pleaded not guilty two weeks ago to what was 56 charges at the time.

To the count of theft in office, the document states that Infante allowed the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Eastwood Field to use water for free. It says this went on for 14 years, totaling nearly $100,000.

Cafaro Company, which owns the sports complex, spoke with Scrappers officials. The Scrappers said they receive and pay a water bill from the City of Niles every month.

“As far as we know, no one is getting any free water,” said Cafaro spokesperson Joe Bell.

To the charges of tampering and gambling, the Bill of Particulars states from 2007 to 2014, nearly $200,000 cash was deposited into an account in Infante’s name. Prosecutors said none of the money was reported.

They said the money was from profits on sports gambling operated out of ITAM Local 39, which Infante owns, near Niles.

To the count of bribery, the document details an incident in 1993 at the ITAM club where someone gave Infante $500 to $1,000 for hiring a relative to be a city employee.

When that person was asked why he paid Infante, they answered, “It’s a way of life.”

The document mentioned Infante’s wife, Judy, who is also facing charges.

If Infante is guilty of everything against him, he could be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Infante served as the Mayor of Niles for 24 years, from 1992 to 2015.

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