Providence City Councilors Set Special Meeting To Remove Embattled President

May 19, 2017

Providence City Council Chambers
Credit John Bender / RIPR

A majority of Providence city councilors have scheduled a special meeting to remove their President Luis Aponte from his post. In order to do so, the council must formally change their rules.

Currently, there appears to be no procedure to remove Aponte from his post. If the measure is adopted, this language would be added to the city council rules:

“At any time during the term of the duly elected Providence City Council, the Providence City Council by two-thirds of all the members of the City Council may vote to permanently remove the individual who is currently serving as President of the City Council.”

The announcement comes the day after 13 city councilors skipped a regular meeting, in an apparent protest of Aponte’s continued refusal to step down. This came after Aponte was indicted on felony charges of embezzlement and misuse of campaign money. Aponte has pleaded innocent.

Since then, 12 councilors, as well as Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, and even the state’s Governor have called on Aponte to resign his leadership position.

During the meeting, scheduled for this coming Monday, the councilors are also set to officially declare Councilman Kevin Jackson’s seat vacant and schedule a special election to fill the office. Jackson was recalled from office earlier this month, following his indictment on embezzlement charges and misuse of campaign funds.