Nicolo Milioto, Charbonneau inquiry witness known as Mr. Sidewalk, dies at 71

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Nicolo Milioto, a Montreal businessman known as “Mr. Sidewalk” and whose testimony eight years ago before the Charbonneau inquiry included an explanation of why men captured on a police surveillance tape were seen stuffing cash into their socks at a Mafia-linked café, has died at the age of 71.

Milioto died April 30 and his funeral — a private service — will be held Tuesday at the Loreto Funeral Complex.

Milioto was perceived as a star witness at the inquiry into corruption in the Quebec construction industry when he testified in 2013.

It was alleged before the commission that Milioto was a middleman between the Mafia in Montreal and the city’s construction companies, an accusation Milioto flatly denied. Until 2012, Milioto was president of Mivela Construction and known as Mr. Sidewalk for his dominance in that particular sector of construction.

The commission heard that Milioto was seen by the RCMP’s hidden cameras 236 times at the Café Consenza from 2004 to 2006, a café in Saint-Léonard considered by police as a meeting place for the local Mafia. Milioto was often in the company of Nicolo Rizzuto, the father of reputed Mob boss Vito Rizzuto.

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Asked by the commission to explain surveillance images of men in the café’s backroom stuffing wads of cash into their socks, Milioto said hiding the money was a personal security measure and that the cash was from the sale of tickets for fundraisers for Cattolica Eraclea, his native village in Sicily.

In September 2015, the city of Montreal went to court seeking $8 million from Construction Irebec Inc., previously known as Construction Mivela. The claim cited testimony from witnesses at the Charbonneau commission that Mivela was part of a cartel that rigged bids between 1998 and 2009 and that obtained nearly all sidewalk and sewer contracts.

This article was originally posted here