April 3, 2001 (PROVIDENCE, R.I.) – The mayor of Providence, two of his aides and two others have been charged with bribery, extortion and corruption in a massive federal indictment.
Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. allegedly profited from a host of government functions. Federal investigators say that one of his top aides, Frank Corrente, solicited payment from city employees seeking promotions, from towing companies seeking police contracts and even from a man with a long history of brushes with the law who wanted to get into the Police Academy.
Cianci is the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history and an enthusiastic booster for Providence. The city in recent years has overhauled its downtown, gaining a reputation for sophistication and charm, and has even starred in a hit television show about a doctor returning to her roots after souring on Los Angeles.
The indictment includes charges that Corrente and a towing company operator solicited a bribe from Joseph Maggiacomo III, a sometime police officer in Florida who had been charged in Rhode Island with impersonating an officer. Maggiacomo was admitted to the Police Academy in 1996 after his mother allegedly paid $5,000 but left after a few weeks because of physical problems. Maggiacomo and his mother have not been charged.