Shame is a good thing…

JMC … it helps to keep us honest, and is still in short supply in Rhode Island. Providence Mayor David Cicilline recently attended a fundraiser for his disgraced brother, attorney John M. Cicilline, who will be sentenced in September after pleading guilty to charges that he conspired to shake down clients and manipulate the criminal justice system. This man’s guilt is no longer in question, he has admitted to the crimes. But judging from yesterday’s ProJo article, he has yet to learn a thing from his experience. Let’s start with his concern that his daughters should be allowed to continue in their private school education,

With his profitable law practice taking a hit following his indictment last year, and the prospect of losing his license to practice law and going away to federal prison for 18 months, Cicilline said in an interview yesterday that the money will help him pay the tuition for his two daughters at La Salle Academy and a third at the University of Rhode Island.

“I don’t have any money in the bank,” he said. “I’ve got to pay their tuitions and their insurance so they can drive. The goal is to disrupt their lives as little as possible.”

Why should this now be a goal for his friends? It clearly has not been a priority for him these past few years and he’s their father. (John, you disrupted their lives. Disruption isn’t some disembodied, random force of the universe — you did it.)

Not suprisingly, his friends seem to have character and judgment issues as well. Friend and fellow attorney Peter Rizzo had this to say,

“It was a nice event to help a guy going through a tough time,” said Rizzo. “Nobody can plan for a federal indictment.”

Really? I would think that an attorney committing federal crimes could definitely plan for an indictment. It never occurred to him? This wasn’t a meteorite falling out of the sky or a cancer diagnosis. Or how about Cicilline’s pal Robert Dillon from the morally fluid town of Barrington? He fondly recalls that,

Cicilline has “quietly subsidized” poorer children’s participation on AAU [basketball] teams.

How sweet, but sorry, you don’t get credit for giving money to the poor if you stole or extorted it from others in the first place. It’s not yours to give.

But the greatest indicator that John Cicilline has learned nothing from this (and needs a prison sentence) is that he thought it completely proper to ask his brother, the Mayor of Providence, to attend this ghastly function. Worse, the Mayor went. I’m sick of all this crap about ‘family’ and ‘loyalty’. Honor trumps loyalty every time. If not, then we are all defined by the most corrupt and degraded member of our families. And he is not just any brother, he represents the people of the city of Providence, and he has now brought shame upon us all. (I worked on Mayor Cicilline’s first campaign and my disappointment is acute.)

M. Charles Bakst ran a great companion piece yesterday — the Jews, as always, have the perfect word — it’s a shanda.

2 thoughts on “Shame is a good thing…”

  1. “Disappointment”,that’s a word I’ve heard repeatedly in relation to David Cicilline.I too was taken in by his stated intentions for running for Mayor,and I am disappointed in MYSELF for actually believing his promises,especially in relation to the poorer members of our community.Yet,when one stops to think about it,the man has too much psychological baggage to pursue any path other than one that is self-aggrandizing.He remains little Davey ,and without the slingshot.Finally though,concerning his attendance at his brother’s time,he better has hauled his butt there considering what John did to help him get elected.


    Beth-a very insightful post.I know it’s hard to be disappointed with someone you admired,but you had the grit to say it very directly.
    I had a cousin who was a career criminal-I was a law enforcement officer-he wasn’t welcome in my house and I didn’t associate with him.
    The mayor’s brother should have some money left from the cushy deal he got on his thousands of dollars in unpaid parking tickets settled for dimes on the dollar by the Municipal Court.
    Ripping off one’s own clients is pretty lowlife behavior for an attorney.
    The mayor’s legal background is mixed up with the same milieu his brother was involved with.It doesn’t rinse off when you take office.David is responsible for putting a lot of bad people back on Providence streets-I understand it was his job as a lawyer -but then don’t go around saying how you want to create a safe community as mayor.You can’t have it both ways.
    Gee-John’s kids might have to go to public school and not even have cars!I fail to see the equation of that with living at Crossroads as the children of other convicted criminals have to do through no fault of their own.

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