Cianci Ashamed of Corruption Probe (posted April 30, 2000)

Appearing today on WJAR-TV news show "10 News Conference," Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci admitted he was ashamed of the federal investigation Operation Plunderdome that is looking into corruption within city government. Already six individuals have pleaded guilty or been convicted on bribery and extortion charges. Interviewed by reporter Gene Valicenti, Cianci said, "I'm not proud of this. But I don't think you measure my career over the past 10 years in this job or when I came back in 1991. I don't think you measure it by an incident in the tax situation. I don't like it. I'm ashamed of it for the city of Providence. But that doesn't mean that the City of Providence has not been led in a very positive direction."

Cianci also commented on several other questions:

Is His Former Chief of Staff Frank Corrente Cooperating with Federal Investigators? "I don't know what the answer to that question is. I talk to him. As a matter of fact, I don't believe there is any truth to that at all. I don't believe there is anything for him to cooperate on."

His Administrative Style and How He Could Not Know of Tax Office Corruption: "I stay pretty much within the confines of my office and my immediate staff. If I meet with directors, they normally come to my office. A lot of my time is out in the field, speaking at dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and meeting with groups outside. I don't interact with 7,200 people everyday [referring to the number of people employed by the city of Providence]."

On the $20 Million Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by the Estate of Sargeant Cornell Young: "They say it is not about the money. One alternative would be to take $10 million over the course of five years or a period the city could afford and say let's do programs whether it is affirmative action programs. We do them now but let's make them better. Let's set up scholarships in Sargeant Young's name. Let's do things programmatically. But no money for the lawyer because he [Johnny Cochran] says it is not about the money."

Cochran's Statement that Young would be Alive if he were White: "It is an inflammatory remark. I don't think he has the facts that he can truly come to a conclusion about because he wasn't there."

Future Providence Tax Increases: "We might have a very slight tax raise if any at all."