February 2, 2007

Post-Celona: Who are the Suspect Seven?

Marc Comtois

Sounds to me like there may be a few nervous lawmakers up on the Hill:

Shudders, dread, curiosity — and what several lawmakers called sadness — permeated the State House yesterday amid warnings by the state’s top federal prosecutor that the John Celona influence-peddling scandal had already spawned “active” corruption investigations against seven other politicians and seven corporations.

“Is this as extensive as Plunder Dome?” asked WPRO radio host Ron St. Pierre in a reference to the infamous Providence City Hall corruption probe that sent former Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. to federal prison.

“It’s bigger,” U.S. Attorney Robert Clarke Corrente responded during an on-air interview yesterday morning.

Yikes! And who could be involved?
Wandering in and out through the day, in a building where gossip and speculation are viewed as valuable commodities, State House denizens traded their lists of potential targets, which included lawmakers past and present and other prominent names in the political community.

“I know most of the people mentioned have been in the Senate,” said Fox. Still, “it does weigh on you — we are all human beings — who those seven politicians are. Obviously, everyone is speculating. But I have no idea who they may be, whether they are current, former or what. Or even if they are General Assembly members.”

But I'll bet that they're probably all Democrats. If I'm wrong, I'll say so, but the basic demographics of RI's political system would lead even the most naive, unpolitical citizen to figure that out. But we'll see.

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A sad period in RI history.I suspect one is a former State Senate leader who for purposes of not getting sued, I will not name.I supect he is on a lot of people's minds.
We will know in due time who they are.Hopefully a member of my party(Republican) is not involved but we shall see!
What concerns me more is the general tolerance of these type activities by the body politic in Rhode Island!
We need a vigorous two party system in Rhode Island and that will not happen any time soon.With the rare exception of the June 21,1983 near State Senate takeover by the GOP party competiveness in Rhode Island needs a improvement!

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at February 2, 2007 1:01 PM

I think it's really regrettable that the US Attorney has described this investigation by using a number of potential targets and fuels such speculation.

There are a lot of names floating around out there, and this is just not a fair way to proceed.

Posted by: brassband at February 2, 2007 1:12 PM

>>I think it's really regrettable that the US Attorney has described this investigation by using a number of potential targets and fuels such speculation.

Perhaps he did that figuring that there are even more, and the uncertainly will prompt some to quickly approach hoping to plea bargain (before the others do and the plea bargain door shuts).

The S.S. Democrat Corruption is rapidly taking on water, and the rats are starting to jump ship!

Grab your plea-bargain life jackets - it's every man(talbano) for himself!

Thank God for the Feds!

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at February 2, 2007 1:34 PM

Maybe they are all Dems, but let's not forget that the Gov. who went to jail was a Republican . . . Buddy started out as a Republican . . . neither party has an exclusive franchise on corruption.

Posted by: brassband at February 2, 2007 1:48 PM

Buddy was a Republican! Nuff' said!

Posted by: Prov. at February 2, 2007 2:24 PM

I may be wrong, but I believe that Buddy ran as a Republican only in order to avoid having to run in a Democrat primary and then in a general election.

In other words, an earlier version of Mike Bloomberg.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at February 2, 2007 2:30 PM

Ahem. Um, what exactly does whether or not past corrupt pols were Republicans have to do with thi? Shifting the argument a little, aren't we?

Look, I know I speculated about them all being Democrats, but that was based on the fact that most of the freakin' RI government is made up of Democrats! Besides, what would there be to gain by putting a Republican on the payroll? They have no power. I was just trying to use a smidge of deductive reasoning. Heck, I'm willing to admit that it could have come across as partisan, but to try to conflate past corrupt pols with the present situation is clearly partisan...and also seems a little desperate.

Regardless of whether they are Dems or Reps, whoever they are, the US DA thinks they are corrupt. That's where the focus should be and is reason enough for our righteous indignation.

Posted by: Marc Comtois at February 2, 2007 3:35 PM

"The S.S. Democrat Corruption is rapidly taking on water, and the rats are starting to jump ship!"

And squeal on each other.

Somebody pinch me!

Posted by: SusanD at February 2, 2007 10:01 PM

Mollis will go down with the ambulance diversion scheme he did with Celona.

Posted by: Joe at February 3, 2007 11:24 AM

Thank you for bringing up Ralph Mollis, Joe.

1.) As to your comment, did he, in fact, direct ambulances where Celona wanted? And if so, did A. Ralph receive filthy lucre for said steering? Or was this just one goomba taking care of another?

2.) Isn't he in trouble yet again? Even aside from the item below from Matt J. on RIFuture. Something about going to a campaign fundraiser on state time and using state staff to get him there.

I had the pleasure of hearing his excuse in his own voice and words: that the Secretary of State is a 24/7 job. So his office time and personal time get blurred.

Excuse us if we demur, Ralphie. Your office is the Secretary of State of Rhode Island. Not Commander of the Coast Guard or President of the United States. It is extremely unlikely you will ever have to work late or get called in the middle of the night to deal with a Secretary of State emergency.

So can we get you to attend personal and political events on your own time? Thanks, pal.


This is so obvious to me, it is scary. You may remember that North Providence Mayor Ralph Mollis ran into some serious problems when he kicked-off his campaign for Secretary of State by using the Mayor’s office to publicize and announce the campaign. Of course, it is highly illegal to use taxpayer dollars and government offices to campaign for office and Dan Yorke took him to task when this happened. Apparently, the esteemed Mayor hasn’t learned his lesson. His recent campaign report still lists North Providence Town Hall as the contact phone number and the contact fax number. Here’s a memo to the Mayor: You have a campaign account and you’re supposed to use this money to rent a campaign headquarters and print your own campaign stationary. Stop using North Providence taxpayers for your personal benefit!

Posted by Matt Jerzyk on Jan 30, 2006, 04:06 pm. rifuture.org

Posted by: SusanD at February 3, 2007 4:26 PM

Susan D,
Well said. Mollis and his crew will go down in this Celona probe mark my words. If not this he will do hinself in sooner than later.Mollis is a disgrace to Democrats.

Posted by: Joe at February 4, 2007 2:24 PM

If the blowback from this wipes out the entire North Providence and West Warwick General Assembly delegations...cool.

Posted by: Rhody at February 4, 2007 10:15 PM

unfortunately there may not be enough evidence to prove that king mollis actually recieved any money
no king mollis understands that he could never recieve any monies directly, things have to travel in other ways , now the trick is follow the path, try and catch them
lets see- simone, zambarano, ricci and now caranci all work for the state of ri
gee who helped with that? could it have been don montalbano and his hometwon connection beverly dwyer a higher up in personnel, could there have been someone dare i say using of positions for personal gain by some northprov residents? and how about bobby ricci a hearing officer for the contractors registration board? and with all that development in no prov now that was convenient-
now onto cranston, pay attention there will be major over development talk in cranston with in ten years. the schools will be busting at the seams the budget will double -watch it happened here in np, now they have carlucci ,he's the np developer connection

Posted by: old school at February 11, 2007 5:19 AM
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