Union attorney threatens lawsuit against Cranston mayor, city
By: Alexandra Cowley
One day after Cranston Mayor Allan Fung called for a police captain to be fired as a result of the parking ticket scandal, news that he is about to be sued. The attorney for the Cranston Police Union says they are suing the city and the mayor for extortion and racketeering. Claiming the mayor used the ticketing scandal to cover up a botched deal with other officers.
Joe Rodio is the Cranston Police Union Attorney.
“We believe he shouldn't be punished at all because the real issue here is they're trying to punish him, not for parking tickets, they're trying to punish him to promote other people,” Rodio claimed.
Rodio alleges the mayor wanted to use the ticketing scandal to strike a deal with 2 other officers who have on–going legal issues with the department. They are Captain Todd Patalano and Lieutenant Karen Guilbeault.
Rodio is alleging Patalano has 40 tapes of damning recordings of the mayor that Rodio says would crush Fung's run for governor.
“So what's on these tapes, is it something they don't want the public to hear, so were going to find out through the lawsuit, were going to allege fraud, racketeering, corruption,” said Rodio.
Rodio says Antonucci wouldn't accept a demotion as part of this alleged deal that would keep Patalano quiet and give Lt. Guilbeault the promotion she's looking for.
Mayor Fung responded to the allegations with this statement:
“I can assure the public that these allegations made by union attorney rodio are completely baseless. I stand by the independent investigation completed by state police. As this is an ongoing matter that is under law enforcement officers bill of rights, I cannot speak further on any specifics relating to this issue.”
Currently, Captain Antonucci is suspended with pay pending a termination hearing. Union Attorney Rodio says the lawsuit will be filed next week.
(C) WLNE-TV 2014