Cianci Bows Out

Providence, RI –
LISTEN: WRNI's Martha Bebinger Reports
LISTEN: Cianci's Speech

Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. will not seek re-election to the office he has held for nearly 21 years. Cianci announced today he had decided it would be in the best interest of the City of Providence to have a new leader. The announcement comes two days after a federal jury found Cianci guilty of racketeering conspiracy.

"Twenty one years is along time to bear the responsibilities of office," said Cianci, "but I have loved being mayor and together we have achieved something special. We have restored the hope and pride of every citizen of our city."

Cianci faced a 4 p.m. deadline to file, if he chose to run again.

The nation's longest serving active mayor said it was a difficult decision. He said he made it on his own, but aware of the possibility he could be sentenced to prison. He did not reveal any future plans, other than his hope to complete his current term.

In making his announcement Cianci reflected on his accomplishments, saying many people deserved credit for them. Asked about two corruption scandals during his administrations, the mayor said there were also moments he was not proud of.

"This city is my life. Providence is my passion. Through all of the tireless years I have strived to make Providence a great city once again," said Cianci.

Federal Judge Ernest Torres has scheduled a hearing on July 3 to hear arguments about whether to throw out the guilty verdict. The judge has questioned whether prosecutors proved the existence of a criminal enterprise that meets the definitions in the RICO law. Jurors acquitted Cianci on 11 other charges Monday.