Kelly Warns Cianci to Recover Stolen Money (posted March 16, 2000)

In an unusually blunt warning, Senate Majority Leader Paul Kelly has warned Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci to take steps to recover city tax money that has been illegally lost from public tax rolls due to bribery and kickbacks. Appearing on Channel 36's popular show "A Lively Experiment," Kelly recounted a phone conversation he had with Cianci today regarding the current federal probe into corruption in Providence City Hall. According to Kelly, he told the Mayor not to expect the state to make up for revenues lost when city workers marked down property tax bills in return for bribes. If at the end of the year, there is a $250,000 deficit due to the tax markdowns, don't look for the state to cover the difference, Kelly said. Kelly reported that Cianci has notified the City Solicitor to begin steps to recovery the stolen money.

Kelly is the second elected official to complain publicly about Operation Plunder Dome. Earlier this week, Governor Lincoln Almond criticized Cianci for allowing corruption to fester in City Hall. The Mayor needed to take responsibility for what was happening within his administration, Almond said.