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EXCLUSIVE: Head of RI Trucking Association Arrested for Obscene Calls to Officials

Sunday, August 02, 2015

 

Wright is the incoming chair of the RI Trucking Association

The incoming Chair of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, Stephen Wright, was arrested for making "crank or obscene" phone calls to elected officials in Smithfield -- and while Town Council members are calling out his behavior, the President of the Trucking Association is fully supporting Wright. 

Wright, a former Smithfield Zoning Board member, pled no contest on July 23 to the misdemeanor charges following the June 26 incident where he placed several calls to the Smithfield Town Council President Bernard Hawkins and Smithfield Town Council Vice President Suzy Alba while drinking with other Smithfield elected officials, allegedly referring to her a c-nt, according to police records.  

Wright received a one year filing, $100 donation to VCIF, court costs, and to have no contact with Alba or Hawkins. 

Read the Police Report HERE

"I not only question the judgment, character and integrity of the caller Stephen Wright, but I am also deeply troubled and concerned that chairman of our zoning board Tony Fonseca allowed this type of behavior and crime to take place in his home, and that all who were present and witnessed these harassing calls being made repeatedly, to many people over several hours, did nothing to stop them and could be heard laughing in the background," said Alba.  "It is very unfortunate that I now have lost my confidence and trust in their leadership and their ability to serve admirably and respectfully"

"I ask everyone involved, who happen to all be men, "How would you feel if your wife, mother, sister or daughter received the type of calls that I did, at that time of night, using that type of language?" asked Alba.  

Incident Outlined

According to the police reports, the incident took place on June 26 at Chairman of the Smithfield Zoning Board Antonio Fonseca's house, at a gathering that included former zoning board member George McKinnon, Smithfield school committee chair Sean Clough, and Town Council member Greg Tocco.

Alba was called twice -- following the call where she heard the c-nt reference, she let the next one go to voicemail. Hawkins was reportedly called four times between 9 P.M. and 1 A.M.

"I didn't recognize the number, but the second message was from Steve and he addressed me as "Dick," said Hawkins in his witness statement, saying Wright kept inviting him to go to [a] party. "I have no social interaction with Foncesca, McKinnon, and Wright."

A portion of the police report.

Speaking with GoLocal on Friday, Hawkins called the incident "child's' play -- a romper room."

"He resigned from the Smithfield Zoning Board a few days after, but I understand he's the incoming chair of the Trucker's Association," said Hawkins of Wright -- and the calls.  "There's politics to play, I imagine it's over zoning appointments. They're probably upset a couple of members didn't have votes to get reappointed."

Hawkins said he thought that Wright "took the rap" for others who were present with him that evening.  

"Those [police] reports aren't the exact truth -- there were only two people in the crowd that had my number, so someone gave it to him," said Hawkins. "It's one thing if you're calling, waking up your buddies, but if you're public officials, it's just childish."

Neither Wright nor his lawyer responded to request for comment on Friday. 

Chris Maxwell, President of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, said he supports Wright "100%"

"Steve was on my board, he was transparent with me about the incident, will remain on the board, and is my incoming chairman, and will remain my incoming chairman," said Maxwell. 

"I can vouch for the character of Steve Wright as a family man, honest man, and this incident was the result was political fodder," said Maxwell. "He was completely transparent with me."

 

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