Grand jury subpoenas issued for Providence finance director, council president

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – An Elorza administration official and the president of the Providence City Council have received witness subpoenas to appear in front of a Kent County grand jury next month, Eyewitness News has learned.

Lawrence J. Mancini, the city’s finance director, is scheduled to testify in front of the grand jury on July 13, according to Evan England, a spokesman for the Elorza administration. Council President Luis Aponte confirmed he received a subpoena, but declined to say when he is scheduled to appear.

England said Mancini’s subpoena does not state a reason for why he was asked to testify, but Eyewitness News has learned both subpoenas are related to the investigation of Councilman Kevin Jackson, who was arrested last month. A State Police arrest affidavit accuses Jackson of embezzling more than $127,000 from a track-and-field organization he founded and misusing $12,000 in campaign contributions. He has not been indicted.

It is unclear if any other city employees or members of the council have received a subpoena. The subpoenas were issued this week.

Amy Kempe, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, declined to comment except to say that “grand jury proceedings are confidential, including whether or not one has been convened.”

Jackson, a 57-year-old Democrat who has served on City Council since 1995, has said he intends to plead not guilty. Following the arrest, he resigned from his role as majority leader of the council, but he remains an elected official. He has attended several council committee meetings in recent weeks.

It is unclear why Mancini or Aponte would be asked to testify in connection with his case, but Jackson’s organization did receive more $67,000 in taxpayer-funded donations between 2005 and 2015, according to records reviewed by Eyewitness News.

Aponte, a Democrat, was elected in 1998 and became the City Council president in 2015. Mancini has worked as the finance director since 2011, but has been employed by the city since 1987.

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Dan McGowan (dmcgowan@wpri.com) covers politics and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

Tim White contributed to this report.

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