Convicted Felon Aponte Resigns From City Council

As part of his plea deal with the AG’s office, Luis Aponte was required to step down from his city council seat and file outstanding campaign finance reports within 60 days! He’s still behind?! We really need to tighten up these filing requirements and add some consequences to them. Former councilman Kevin Jackson (now in prison) also had a long history of failing to file these reports. This isn’t just paperwork, failing to file always means you are hiding something.

The Providence Journal article by Katie Mulvaney lays out the depressing saga of Aponte’s corruption. And just last February we wrote up the scandal of the committee assignments (Spotlight on Councilman Luis Aponte) in which the new progressives were cast aside while Aponte himself was granted two chairmanships while under indictment! (The spotlight is now on Aponte friend, and current council president, Sabina Matos. Why do we need someone of such questionable judgment at the helm? Let’s have another no-confidence vote and right this ship.)

Oh, and boo hoo: The paper stated that Aponte appeared “crestfallen” and “near tears.” Make no mistake, Aponte ran for re-election last fall for the sole purpose of creating a bargaining chip in his effort to stay out of prison — Ward 10, and indeed all of Providence, be damned.

Because this will now require a special election. This is going to cost us all money. The estimable Councilman David Salvatore (Ward 14 – Elmhurst, Wanskuck) has sized up the situation perfectly:

Councilman David Salvatore called on the council to pass an ordinance tightening ethics requirements and prohibiting indicted people from holding leadership positions. He noted that Aponte ran for reelection in 2018 while under indictment.

“Today concludes a long, sad and embarrassing chapter in Providence politics,” he said. “Yet another member of City Council leadership has taken a plea deal for embezzlement and used his council seat as a bargaining chip.

“Once again, the people of Providence will be left holding the bag, as the city will need a special election to fill the vacated council seat, which will undoubtedly cost thousands of dollars this city does not have to spare. Instead of gracefully stepping aside and not run for reelection, Councilman Aponte let his ego and greed continue to chart his course.”

Time to clean house. Let’s dump Aponte’s friend Matos and convince Councilman Salvatore to once again take the reins.

One more thing: Both Aponte and Matos voted to override Mayor Elorza’s veto of the Fane zoning change. In other words, they voted in favor of Fane and his egregious tower. I hope the Providence Journal and the Boston Globe keep looking into that.

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