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Thu June 27, 2002
By Martha Bebinger
Providence, RI – The 21-year era of Vincent "Buddy" Cianci junior is ending. Cianci's decsion not to seek re-election is drawing tears and applause. It followed a guilty of racketerring conspiracy verdict against Cianci on Monday.
"It's not fair to the people of the City of Providence for me to give them that choice, because i can't give them any guarantees," Cianci said Wednesday, referring to the possibility that he could be sent to prison in September.
Cianci denied he made the decision, because he thought it might influence Judge Ernest Torres in his ruling about whether to dismiss the guilty verdict. Providence City Solicitor Charles Mansollillo, one of Cianci's closest confidantes, said the Mayor was not sure he would run, even before the verdict.
Mansolillo said it is too bad Cianci will leave office under a cloud of suspicion, "I do believe something is awry. If the people and the jury, were to know the extent of the investigation, the thousands of documents that were looked at, and this is what they came up with? To glean from
All of that they there's a racketeering effort going on here in the city government is an absolute travesty of justice."
"Some of what he's done for the arts has been modeled all over the country," said Burt Crenca, Artistic Director of arts center AS220,"This man played a very complex role in a lot of people's lives in This city. Its very tragic to me what's happened. He has to be held accountable. He's the boss, but I can't deny my feelings... the confidence that he put in me--you can't put a price on that."
Other arts administrators were not worried about the future of arts in Providence.
"The Mayor has been the greatr marketer and promoter for the revitalization of the city, the actual fact is that it's been too difficult to get things done, the playing field hasn't always been fair. So I think if the new mayor that comes forward can give the perception that it is a fair playing field, it'll make providence an Increasingly attractive place for new/ capital to be invested, so I think it could easily be a plus," said Arnold Chace, Chairman of the Board at Trinity Repertory Company.