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Lewiston Town Highway Superintendent Milo E. Quarantillo has been found innocent of improperly charging the purchase of four mobile home tires to the town's account, according to his lawyer.

The verdict was returned Tuesday by Judge Robert M. Restaino in Niagara Falls City Court, but the court record was sealed and it could not be independently verified.

Quarantillo's attorney, Robert Viola, praised the district attorney's office for its diligence in researching the matter, requesting five boxes of invoices from the Town Hall. Members of that office went through the invoices for 10 months, he said.

"It supported our position that it was just an isolated mistake. It was not a crime," he said.

Quarantillo did not return a call seking comment. Viola said, "It's been a big strain on him because it's been a year since he was charged. . . . He knows he did nothing wrong and now it's just a fact."

The non-jury trial lasted for about seven hours with testimony from four witnesses.

Quarantillo, of Swann Road, was arrested Aug. 12, 1998, after he allegedly improperly charged the purchase of four mobile home tires to the town account at the Tire Shoppe, 8045 Quarry Road, Town of Niagara.

The $311 transaction resulted in charges of three counts of first-degree falsifying business records and two counts each of official misconduct and petit larceny.

Town Attorney Timothy J. Toohey said, "Whenever the system runs its course, you go on and there's an end to things. . . . This episode seems to be over."

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