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The Nation | IN BRIEF / RHODE ISLAND

Corruption Trial Begins for Providence Mayor

April 24, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Popular Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. went on trial on graft charges, with federal prosecutors saying he headed a criminal enterprise in which hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes were paid in exchange for jobs, contracts, leases and tax breaks.

"The purpose of Cianci's criminal enterprise was to enrich himself personally and politically," prosecutor Richard Rose said.

But the mayor's attorney portrayed Cianci as a victim of greedy city officials. He also attacked the credibility of the government's witnesses.

"The people who are going to tell you this story are liars and cheaters and thieves," attorney Richard Egbert said.

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