By Flo Jonic
Providence, R.I. – Additional charges have been lodged against three former North Providence town councilmen accused of shaking down a developer. Meanwhile, two other men are now implicated in the scheme.
The original indictment charged former North Providence town councilors Joseph Burchfield, Raymond Douglas and John Zambarano with single counts of extortion and bribery. But a new indictment that takes its place adds conspiracy and increases the bribery and extortion counts.
According to the US Attorney's Office, the councilors engaged in a pattern of shaking down businessmen who appeared before them for zone changes or license alterations. The largest is a $75,000 bribe for granting a zoning change that would permit a residential development in an old mill, $21,000 of it was paid. Two other attempted extortions were not paid.
This new indictment names as middlemen attorney Robert Ciresi of Hope and Edward Imondi of North Providence. Imondi owned one of the properties that required a zone change. Ciresi and Imondi allegedly received a portion of the money delivered.
Read the indictment here