Ian Donnis

Political Reporter

Ian Donnis has been the political reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio since 2009. The Washington Post has called him one of Rhode Island’s best political reporters. Besides reporting, Ian tweets at @IanDon, hosts RIPR’s weekly Political Roundtable, and contributes to the station’s On Politics blog.

He was for many years a regular panelist on WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers, is an occasional guest on RI-PBS' A Lively Experiment, and has been a political debate panelist for each of Rhode Island's three commercial television stations.

Ian previously worked for the Providence Phoenix, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and The Associated Press. His reporting has been recognized by the AP, the New England Press Association, the Rhode Island Press Association, and Rhode Island for Community & Justice.

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Former Cranston police chief Marco Polombo Jr. wants the city to pay for his own legal representation to defend against two pending lawsuits.

A lawyer for Polombo said the ex-chief plans to rebut the 182-page State Police report that has roiled Cranston, and will take action against anyone who harms him or violates his rights.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Residents and some city councilors said Tuesday the findings of a lacerating State Police report have eroded their trust in Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

During an almost four-hour meeting at City Hall, a few residents called on Fung to resign. Carol Myron described herself as a longtime acquaintance of the mayor, and said she had spent most of the afternoon reading the 182-page report.

File photo / RIPR

After months of speculation about a possible move to Johnston or another suburban location, Rhode Island's statewide newspaper appears to be consolidating its operations within the historic Providence Journal Building at 75 Fountain Street.

"Staffers have been told to anticipate a move within the building," John Hill, president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, said Tuesday. "Every message we have gotten is that we are staying here."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Cranston City Council has scheduled a special meeting tonight. The meeting will center on questions the council has for Mayor Allan Fung, regarding a scathing report by the State Police.

The political pot keeps simmering as the calendar turns to August. Thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to send me a tip or comment at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Commerce Corporation has agreed to a $12.5 million dollar settlement with four defendants over the collapse of video-game maker 38 Studios, including Keith Stokes, the former head of the state's economic development agency.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Lawyer, commentator and former attorney general Arlene Violet joins Political Roundtable this week 

Former attorney general Arlene Violet joins Bonus Q&A this week to discuss Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and the State Police report on the Cranston Police Department; where the RI GOP has gone wrong in building an effective opposition; and much more. For more Violet, check her appearance on this week's Political Roundtable.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung apologized to city residents Tuesday for a host of problems related to the Cranston Police Department. 

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien wants Governor Gina Raimondo to commission a feasibility study examining the cost of modernizing McCoy Stadium, so the figure can be weighed against the Providence stadium concept backed by the ownership of the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Don Borman

Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Monday he's hopeful an agreement will emerge in the near future for a plan to build a new PawSox stadium in downtown Providence.

"Since I don't have a finalized set of terms at this point, I can't predict," Mattiello said. "But in the near future. I would like to see something come out within the next few weeks, several weeks."

Mattiello said the intention is to arrive at an agreement for a revenue-neutral proposal and solicit feedback from the public.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Providence firefighters’ union said it plans on Monday to ask a judge to vacate the city’s landmark 2013 pension settlement with public safety unions.

Paul Doughty, president of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 799, said the request is a response to a legal maneuver last week in which the city argued Local 799's current contract is void and unenforceable.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Larry Lucchino's role in seeking a new Providence ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox "remains unchanged," a team spokeswoman said Saturday, even though Lucchino is winding down his impactful role as CEO of the Boston Red Sox.

"Larry's role remains unchanged with respect to the PawSox ownership group," Patti Doyle said via e-mail. "He remains focused on achieving a renegotiated agreement with the state on relocating the team to a new ballpark on lands within the I-195 District [area] in Providence."

Happy Friday, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. There's plenty of news, even in the peak of summer, so we're ready to dive in. Your tips and thoughts remain welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The City of Providence plans to increase firefighters' base pay by eight percent as part of the slated Sunday implementation of a different platoon structure meant to reduce overtime spending by millions of dollars a year.

During a Friday afternoon news conference, Mayor Jorge Elorza said firefighters can get a more generous pay increase -- 33 percent --- if they agree to a plan to increase their average weekly hours, from 42 to 56.