May 6, 2010

The AG and the C.F. Board-Up Bonanza

Monique Chartier

A couple of points to lightly touch upon now that the feds have joined with the State Police to do the heavy lifting.

- The Attorney General has been patting himself on the back this week for recusing himself and purportedly handing the matter of his friend, the mayor of Central Falls, king of the prolonged rip-off board-up emergency, over to a prosecutor in his office in January. This would be more impressive if action of any kind - and it is clear from the conduct of the State Police who have set up shop at C.F. City Hall that there was something here to follow up - had been initiated by the AG's office in the last three months. Instead, we are left with the distinct impression that the Attorney General's loud and repeated proclamation on the Lively Experiment and elsewhere that he would keep this matter at arms length was as much second person imperative to his staff as first person declarative of his own intentions.

- In view of recent developments, it appears that the theme of Patrick Lynch's upcoming fundraiser - "Countdown to Victory" - is either a tad premature or partially misnamed. (There's certainly a countdown taking place, though possibly not in the process or to the outcome referenced by the Lynch campaign.)

- Finally, an O/T request of Mr. Lynch from all of his political opponents: please continue to not tip or under-tip when you entertain, eat out or hold a fundraiser in a public venue. Nothing will ... endear you more to former and current wait staffers and their family and friends than this display of parsimony.

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This keeps looking more and more like Charlie is going to be led out of City Hall one day in handcuffs. There's probably even an outside chance that our AG could as well.

As for Bouthilette, I'm not sure he did anything illegal. He grossly overcharged and seemed to engage in the pay to play game. Buy the mayor a heating system, get to board up all the foreclosures in town for many, many times higher than the going rate. Is that illegal from his perspective?

Posted by: Patrick at May 6, 2010 9:56 AM

It looks like this is more like just gross mismanagement. Isn't that the excuse we used when Ed Achorn's wife ripped off the poor kids in Providence?

Posted by: swazool at May 6, 2010 10:14 AM

Swazool, what was Ed Achorn's wife elected to? Was she the mayor of EP when she did whatever is alleged?

It's a completely ball of wax when an elected official screws over the very people he is elected to serve.

Posted by: Patrick at May 6, 2010 10:53 AM


I'm quite confident that the RISP, RIAG, and various federal agencies and prosecutors will be able to distinguish between criminal conduct and bad management.

As for the time taken thus far, all public corruption investigations (and there are plenty of examples in RI, just in the last decade) take time to complete, if you define completion as the bringing of charges against alleged offenders. This is particularly true in RI, where, as we've seen, "Omerta" has a place right up there with stuffies, wieners, and coffee milk in the state culture.

Posted by: John at May 6, 2010 4:44 PM