West Warwick town councilor at risk of losing his position

By Bianca Buono

bbuono@abc6.com

@BBuonoABC6

A West Warwick town councilor who’s worked for the town for a decade is now at risk of losing his title. A candidate running against him says he was convicted of a felony, making him ineligible to serve as a town councilor.

West Warwick’s Board of Canvassers met to discuss Angelo Padula Wednesday in an emergency meeting.

William Stranahan, who is trying to take Padula’s seat on the council, challenged his eligibility to run. He and his attorney say he is a convicted felon and West Warwick has a charter prohibiting convicted felons from holding office.

"That’s important to the town of West Warwick or it wouldn’t be in the charter. I’m all for open, honest government and I believe we need to bring this to the forefront,” said Stranahan.

They say Padula was convicted back in the ‘80’s. The charges were three counts of unlawful delivery of cocaine. He served over a year at the ACI.

"It says in there that Mr. Padula actually dealt drugs in West Warwick and for us that was something of grave concern,” said Nicholas Denice, Stranahan’s attorney.

But Padula’s attorney says his record has been expunged and says Rhode Island’s constitution allows for convicted felons to hold any office three years after they have served time. Padula says this is dirty politics.

This is his 5th run against me. Unsuccessfully four times. He can’t win being the man that he was supposed to have been,” said Padula.

Nothing was decided during Wednesday’s meeting. They will schedule another for sometime in the coming months because the matter is time sensitive. The election for town council is later this year.

© WLNE-TV 2016