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Cianci Says Providence City Government Wasting Money (posted September 30, 2007)

Former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci is wasting no time going after his critics. After claiming to want to set a positive tone in his public commentary, he is attacking city of Providence for its spending priorities. Appearing on the WLNE-TV show "Six News on the Record" with Jim Hummel for his first extended television interview, Cianci asked "why we cut arts in the schools but we have a director of protocol costing $100,000 in the city?"

Cianci complained about two new downtown buildings. "We wouldn't have had the GTECH building looking the way it does," he said. When GTECH approached him in 1999 to construct a similar building, Cianci said he rejected the design. Now, he claims GTECH got the building after receiving a "no bid contract on the state lottery." The former mayor also described a new condominium being built in the downtown area as ill-advised. "The twin towers are ugly and they don't belong there," he said.

In addition, fellow WPRO radio talk show host John DePetro was on the receiving end of Cianci's barbs. Asked what it was like to work with someone who previously had been critical of his city administration, Cianci joked that "I just like my paycheck" compared to what DePetro makes. The two of them speak in the hallway at the station, Cianci said, but he described their relationship as distant. The way he put it was that the two of them "co-exist together."

Cianci lost 55 pounds in prison and quit smoking. However, since getting out, he has regained 20 pounds and resumed smoking. But he said his goal was to quit smoking again.