By FLO JONIC
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Three former North Providence councilmen and a local boxing promoter have agreed to plead guilty as charged to their roles in four extortion and bribery schemes.
Former North Providence town councilors Joseph Burchfield, Raymond Douglas III and John Zambarano were caught shaking down businessmen who appeared before the council for zoning changes, liquor licenses and the like.
After initially pleading not guilty' to the charges, they agreed this week to change their pleas to guilty. Also pleading guilty is Edward Imondi, a businessman who delivered the bribes to the councilmen.
In addition to pleading guilty to his role in the corruption cases, Douglas will also plead guilty to using extortion as a means to collect gambling debts owed him. And Zambarano will plead guilty to his role in the filing of a false insurance claim.
The councilmen have agreed to forfeit $46,000, which represents the total amount of bribery money received.
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