May 12, 2009

Cicilline's Scapegoat Fights Back

Marc Comtois

Be wary of who you throw under the bus. Like, say, a city tax collector who may know some things (via 7to7):

Fired tax collector Robert P. Ceprano....Ceprano alleges that Mayor David N. Cicilline pressed him in 2005 to waive back interest on unpaid property taxes by Richard Bready, the CEO of Nortek. According to the 86-page lawsuit, Ceprano refused to accept a $25,000 check from Bready in 2005 for two properties that were facing a tax sale for unpaid taxes. The reason: because the check did not include interest, which Bready was asking be waived.

When Ceprano refused, his lawsuit says, Bready instead delivered the check directly to the mayor. The mayor, through then-chief of staff Michael Mello, then ordered Ceprano to remove the properties, at 145 Benefit St. and 24 Stimson Ave., from the tax sale.

According to the lawsuit, Mello told Ceprano that Bready was "a generous contributor to the city.'' Ceprano subsequently wrote a note in city tax records, attached to the lawsuit as an exhibit: "At the request of Mayor Cicilline & Chief of Staff Michael Mello, interest will not be charged on this account.''

Wonder if this has legs?

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It should have legs. The following RIGL is pretty clear on the matter of interest waivers.

§ 44-5-8.1 Waiver of interest on overdue quarterly tax payments. – (a) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, any city or town may, by ordinance duly enacted, authorize a waiver of interest on one quarter's overdue property tax payment and allow the remaining balance of taxes owed to be paid on a quarterly basis if all of the following conditions are satisfied by the taxpayer:

(1) The property subject to the overdue payment is the residence of the taxpayer and has been for the five (5) years immediately preceding the tax payment which is overdue.

(2) The request for a waiver of interest is in writing, signed and dated by the taxpayer.

(3) The taxpayer has made timely payments of taxes to the city or town for the five (5) years immediately preceding the tax payment, which is overdue. The burden of proof of timely payments shall be upon the taxpayer.

(4) The bill for which the payment is overdue was issued less than two (2) years prior to the date of the request for a waiver of interest.

(b) In no event shall the waiver of interest on a tax bill exceed five hundred dollars ($500). Decisions of the tax collector shall be in writing and contain a notice to the city or town council. If the taxpayer receives an adverse decision from the tax collector, the taxpayer must pay the interest and may file a claim for reimbursement with the city or town council within ten (10) days of the decision.

(c) Any request for a waiver of taxes which meets criteria established by this section pursuant to a duly enacted ordinance shall be granted by the city or town.

Posted by: John at May 12, 2009 1:32 PM

Go, Mr. Ceprano!

Posted by: Monique at May 12, 2009 1:52 PM

I worked with Bob Ceprano for many years.He is an honest man.
David Cicilline is not an honest man.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 12, 2009 6:12 PM

I don't know if Richard Bready is a generous contributor to the City, but he is a generous contributor to Mayor Cicilline. Here's his history of contributions from

Posted by: Damien Baldino at May 12, 2009 6:48 PM

I hope Ceprano breaks the bank on Providence. There isn't a single thing worth saving since Cicilline sashayed his way onto the scene.

After Ceprano gets through with Providence and those civil suits, then it'll be Perkins' turn.

Posted by: Roland at May 12, 2009 7:58 PM
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