By Ian Donnis
Providence, R.I. – A city hall spokeswoman says Providence Mayor David Cicilline has returned the $25,000 in salary overpayments and a bonus he received over the last four years.
Spokeswoman Karen Watts says Cicilline got $20,000 in extra money because the city payroll department mistakenly applied a management raise to his mayoral salary. About $5,000 more came from a "longevity" payment. Watts says the mayor has repaid $25,000 to the city.
University of Rhode Island political science professor Maureen Moakley, a regular WRNI contributor, says she sees the overpayment as a relatively innocent oversight.
"A one percent pay raise is something that i don't think many people would notice, given the vagaries of taxes and deductions and social security," says Moakley. "I think it's perfectly feasible that he has no idea this was a fact."
But two of Cicilline's Democratic rivals are more critical. Anthony Gemma says Cicilline is trying to pass off the $20,000 overpayment as mistakes while scapegoating a low-level city employee.
Another opponent, Bill Lynch, says the mistaken extra pay shows Cicilline is disconnected from average Rhode Islanders.