CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – There was a mixed verdict in the bench trial of a Cranston deputy fire chief facing criminal charges tied to an alleged fight with a lieutenant.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Judge Elaine Bucci acquitted Paul Valletta of simple assault and/or battery but convicted him of disorderly conduct. Bucci sentenced Valletta to a one year filing – which means the charge will go away provided Valletta stays out of legal trouble for a year. He was also ordered to pay court costs totaling $96.75
Valletta – who is also the head of the city’s firefighters’ union, IAFF Local 1363, and an influential State House lobbyist – was arrested in September on misdemeanor charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct following an incident at Fire Station 6 that was reportedly captured on audio recording. He was placed on leave two days after the incident, but was reinstated in October.
According to a police affidavit, Valletta and Lt. Scott Bergantino got into an argument about overtime, and Bergantino made a disparaging remark about Valletta’s mother.
The affidavit states Bergantino told police, “Deputy Chief Valletta approached him and pushed him up against the chalkboard, punched him in the head two times, and then threw him over a recliner and onto the floor.”
Chip Muller, an attorney representing Bergantino, said his client suffered a concussion in the alleged assault.