Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has called for indicted city council president Luis Aponte to step down as the council’s leader, but two council leaders, President Pro Tempore Sabina Matos and Majority Leader Bryan Principe, ducked the issue in statements today.
``The charges brought against the council president are serious and I call on him to step down from his leadership position immediately,’’ said Elorza in a statement. ``Our residents deserve to be represented by council members who lead with the utmost moral authority and these charges undermine the council president’s ability to do so.’’
But the two leaders who could be expected to vy for the council presidency in the event that Aponte stepped down did not call for him to leave his leadership post or resign from the council.
Council President Pro Tempore Sabina Matos and majority leader Bryan Principe both issued statements saying only that city council members remain committed to working on behalf of constituents.
``I am concerned and saddened by today’s indictment against Council President Aponte. Luis has been a colleague and friend for many years. This is a difficult time for the city and our constituents. AS president pro tempore, I wish to assure the people of Providence that their councilors remain committed to continuing their hard work to ensure that Providence is a vibrant successful city for all its residents. While the judicial process unfolds, I will remain focused on our work and committed (sic) to moving the city of Providence forward.’’
Said Principe,``At the end of the day, the judicial process that began today is out of our hands, and we can’t control its outcome. Instead we will remain focused on fulfilling our commitment to the people of Providence and continue to serve the city to best of our ability.’’