Jury Convicts Providence Mayor
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Mayor Vincent ``Buddy″ Cianci Jr. was convicted of corruption Monday in a staggering blow for the irrepressible politician who was accused of turning City Hall into a den of thieves even as he revitalized Rhode Island’s biggest city.
Cianci, 61, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy. But he was acquitted of the overarching racketeering charge. Verdicts on other charges were not immediately disclosed.
The verdict came after a seven-week federal trial in which prosecutors alleged Cianci, his former top aide and two businessmen solicited bribes in exchange for city jobs, contracts and tax breaks.
The mayor turned Providence into a ``city for sale,″ prosecutor Richard Rose told jurors during his closing argument. Defense attorneys called Cianci’s accusers liars and thieves, and said one witness was ``a pig, plain and simple.″