BREAKING NEWS: Providence Moves to Cut Cianci’s Pension

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


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The Providence Retirement Board is moving to cut or suspend former Mayor Buddy Cianci’s pension—even though he has not applied for it.

The board first considered denying Cianci’s pension five years ago—but nothing ever came of it. News reports at the time estimated that he could be eligible for two pensions, worth a total of $75,000 to $80,000. One is the regular pension afforded to city employees. The other is the special pension for elected officials.

The move comes after efforts to block pensions of other city employees got held up in court. Just last month the state Supreme Court ruled that the city Honorable Service Ordinance permitted revoking or reducing pensions only if the retiree had been convicted of a crime related to the abuse of his office.

That ends efforts to halt the pensions of three retired officials who do not have criminal convictions—but it clears the way to remove the pensions for Cianci, who was convicted of running a criminal enterprise in Operation Plunder Dome in 2002.

During the campaign for mayor last year, all of the candidates were asked if they would support or oppose a pension for Cianci. At a debate hosted by the College Hill Neighborhood Association, candidate Angel Taveras took the strongest stance against it. If Cianci's actions did not constitute "dishonorable service" he said he didn't know what would.

The pension revocation is posted on the agenda for the Providence Retirement Board's meeting tomorrow morning. Cianci, who is now a talk radio host at 630 WPRO, could not be reached for comment in time for publication.


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