Third former N. Prov. councilmen to plead guilty today

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A former North Providence town councilman accused of soliciting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes is scheduled to return to court today for a change-of-plea hearing to federal conspiracy, bribery and extortion charges.

John Zambarano is also expected to plead guilty to his role in an unrelated insurance fraud scheme.

Zambarano and two other ex-councilmen are charged in the bribery schemes. In one case, prosecutors say, the men received $25,000 to vote for a zoning change to allow a supermarket to be built.

Former councilmen Joseph Burchfield and Raymond Douglas III pleaded guilty to the charges yesterday.

Zambarano is also accused of helping damage the home of local radio host Lori Sergiacomi, so she could file bogus insurance claims. Sergiacomi and others charged in the case have pleaded not guilty.

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