Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has filed a petition requesting that the city licensing board declare that all licenses held by the Shark Bar & Grille on Thayer Street near Brown University be declared void.
The mayor’s reasoning comes as no surprise because owners of the Shark paid a $52,000 in bribe in 2008 to former House Speaker Gordon Fox, who at the time was vice-chair of the Providence Board of Licenses. After the bribe was paid, the Shark obtained a liquor license despite opposition from East Side residents and Brown officials.
Channel 12 reports the Providence Board of Licenses believes there’s not enough concrete evidence to revoke a liquor license for a bar that’s been implicated in a corruption probe. But Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he’s still looking into the matter.
There have been a series of recent media reports about shootings and other violent incidents in Providence. The issue has also become part of the debate in race to choose a new Providence mayor. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements joins us now to discuss what police are doing to address the violence and what may be behind it. Clements spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras wants to use a one-strike policy to close strip clubs that permit a single instance of prostitution or hiring underage strippers. This comes after police found that a 14-year-old girl working at Cheaters was soliciting for sex at the club.
Taveras’ spokesman, David Ortiz, says the mayor was disappointed by how the Providence Board of Licenses recently fined Cheaters 5000 dollars and suspended its license for 45 days. Ortiz said Taveras supports using any permissible legal means to keep Cheaters closed.