Ciccone loses 2 of 3 committee posts; Ruggerio still No. 2

This just in from a whirlwind hour at the State House:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Embattled state Sen. Frank Ciccone has lost his leadership post in the wake of allegations he tried to intimidate Barrington police officers last week as they were in the process of arresting one of his most powerful colleagues.

In a hastily called State House press conference Wednesday afternoon, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed announced Ciccone has agreed to step down as chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Oversight. He is also stepping down entirely from both that committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Ciccone, D-Providence, will remain vice chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, Senate spokesman Greg Paré told WPRI.com. It’s unclear who will become chairman of the oversight committee; the current vice chairman is state Sen. James Sheehan, D-North Kingstown.

Paiva Weed said she met with Ciccone earlier Wednesday afternoon and “expressed my concern regarding the events of last week,” she told reporters in a statement that lasted roughly 50 seconds. “He agreed the events were regrettable and he was contrite. After a brief discussion we agreed that the institution of the Senate is larger than any one individual.”

“It is my desire to put these events behind us and focus on the work that needs to be done to move Rhode Island forward,” Paiva Weed said. When reporters began shouting questions as she started walking back into her office, she said: “At this time I would prefer not to make any further statement.”

Much more here.

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