Letter to Fung on ticket blitz claims mayor interfered with police

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A four-page letter from Rhode Island State Police, summarizing the agency’s 18-month investigation into the 2013 ticket blitz, is highly critical of Mayor Allan Fung, accusing him of interfering with the city’s police department.

“This behavior illustrates one of the core problems which came to light during the assessment, the secretive interference by you and your staff in the operations of the police department.” the letter to Fung from RISP Col. Steven O’Donnell states.

More than a hundred parking tickets were written within a 48-hour period in 2013 in the wards of city council members David Archetto and Steven Stycos, who both claimed the citations were retaliation for their votes against the police labor contract.

Council President John Lanni said the four-page letter summarizes the 180-page state police report on their investigation. Lanni said he will release the letter tonight during the city council meeting, and then turn to Fung for the entire report.

“We will ask the mayor to release the full report,” Lanni said. “And if he’s not forthcoming, we’ll weigh our options.”

Target 12 reached out to Mayor Fung for comment, and he released the following statement Monday.

On Thursday, I was notified that the Rhode Island State Police had completed their assessment of the Cranston Police Department, which I had requested in January of 2014. On Friday afternoon, Assistant City Solicitor Evan Kirshenbaum and I drove to the office of State Police Colonel Stephen O’Donnell to pick up this report. At that time, I thanked Colonel O’Donnell, Lt. Col. Barry and Captain Moynihan for their efforts on behalf of the City of Cranston and the Cranston Police.

A preliminary review of this report by City Solicitor Christopher Rawson revealed the confidential nature of much of its contents, including personally identifiable health information, confidential personnel matters, pending litigation, and investigations. In response to these concerns, Solicitor Rawson and I delivered a copy of the assessment report to the Office of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. I have formally requested an advisory opinion from the Attorney General as to which contents may be appropriate for public disclosure.

My intention has always been transparency about this report and I await the opinion from the Attorney General’s office about what portions may be public. In addition, I have called for a meeting with the City Council on Wednesday to update them and allow access to the report.”

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau

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