Ciresi found guilty on corruption charges

PROVIDENCE, RI – North Providence attorney Robert Ciresi has been found guilty of all three charges against him.

After deliberating less than a day, a Providence jury returned guilty verdicts of conspiracy, extortion and bribery against North Providence lawyer Robert Ciresi.

Prosecutors argued that Ciresi acted as the middleman for one bribe paid to three former North Providence town councilmen and helped set up another.

Ciresi declined comment as he left federal court but his attorney, John Cicilline, vowed to appeal.

"I don't believe the evidence supported this verdict," says Cicilline.

U.S. attorney Peter Neronha says the verdict should send a strong message to others.

"No matter what your role is in public corruption," says Neronha, "whether you're the bag man, the middleman, the lawyer who helps get it done or the public official his or herself this office will aggressively prosecute those people."

The 77-year-old Ciresi will be sentenced in July. He faces up to 35 years in prison.

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