And they are off and running, in the 2007 edition of “How Can We Embarrass Little Rhody Even More?”
The jockeys taking the lead in shaming the state are Joseph A. “Blockbuster” Bevilacqua Jr., the dapper criminal-defense lawyer and videotape enthusiast, of those Bevilacquas; his accused associate, John M. Cicilline, the son of Jack Cicilline, a prominent lawyer for organized crime figures, and the brother of Providence Mayor David “Little Chi-Chi” Cicilline; and Gian Piscione, stepson of recently elected Secretary of State “Ralphie Boy” Mollis, former mayor of Nawt Prov.
Federal prosecutors accuse Joe Bev and John Cicilline of trying to scam drug dealers with more lenient sentences, a noble calling indeed. Joe was already serving the last part of an 18-month prison sentence, for leaking an FBI Plunder Dome tape to JARhead Jim Taricani, on work release. That little trick got Mr. Bevilacqua disbarred. Cicilline, if convicted, could also be looking at losing his license to practice law.
Piscione, meanwhile, with breathtaking speed, is also making news. First, not long after Mollis was inaugurated, young Gian, who lives at home, was arrested and charged in connection with an incident in which shots were fired at two men in a car. According to reports on TV and in the BeloJo, this was due to a jealous rage over a chick, as they say in Nawt Prov.
It was then reported that Nawt Prov police — where Mollis was mayor at the time — interacted with Piscione last October, but didn’t charge him, after they found a bag of marijuana in a car in which he was riding (the driver was charged with possession). Gian admitted he had smoked some grass earlier — but sur-prahz, sur-prahz, Gomer — he was let go. Mollis and the Nawt Prov constabulary deny that the stepson got special treatment.
The pot incident came on the heels of an episode in which the Johnston police arrested Gian in August, charging him with disorderly conduct. Three witnesses accused our young gentleman of waving a gun around at them in a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot, and he subsequently pleaded no contest to the charge.
Maybe stepdad can keep Gian off the street with an internship in the Secretary of State’s office.
Sleep tight, Lincoln Steffens. We are at it again in the Biggest Little.
Candid and crispy
P&J are sad to see that Superior Court Judge Stephen J. Fortunato Jr. is retiring, effective February 1 — one day after he turns 65. How time flies.
As Fortunato told the Urinal’s legal eagle, Tracy “My She Looks Good on Horseback” Breton, he will continue to teach law school classes and hopes to teach on the undergraduate level, too. He also plans to devote more time to writing scholarly articles about the law, politics, and global affairs, as well as op-ed pieces.
Fortunato has been good enough to offer us his valued pro bono counsel over the years. He describes himself as “a leftist, not a liberal,” which explains why he didn’t have us locked up.
He has been a controversial jurist, certainly marching to the beat of his own drum, whether others liked the rhythm or not. One of his more outlandish stunts was running for the General Assembly with his mascot, Crispy Critter, a dog that survived a bad burning. Our old buddy, Captain Blowhard, no stranger to ruffling feathers in his own right, appointed Fortunato to the bench.