How do you think you have changed? What have you learned from all this trial and prison experience?
Well, you certainly change. Doesn’t everybody over time, especially if you’ve been in prison? I am at peace with myself. I have given up on the “squirrel,” I am going au naturel [as he passed his hand over his bald pate]. I feel free, not just from prison, but free to be myself. I take more time with people, especially my family, with little things, with listening more. My personal life is in order. I am moved by the number of people who want to see me, or call me — they don’t want anything from me like before when I was mayor, they just want to talk to me, take me to dinner, do things for me. I am grateful for that. I learned who my real friends are. There are people I did much for that I have not heard from since I was charged with the criminal counts years ago. They have not called or written to me in prison or here. And others who stayed in touch with letters or cards at holiday times, which are always difficult in prison, they followed my time and progress in prison and were supportive in so many ways, or got a word of support to me through others who visited or wrote.
The big thing was to get letters in prison, to stay in touch with what was going on at home, to know others cared, all of which kept me looking toward coming home. And I am keeping busy, planning things, putting a small staff together like Scott [Millard, former aide] and Charlie [Manso¬lillo former chief of staff], and David Igliozzi, who does some legal work for me.
And I am fortunate and thankful to Joe Paolino for the work placement here, as my daughter Nicole and my three grandchildren live in this building and I can see them regularly. My sister and her family have been really supportive. I want to get my own place, maybe a place near the water, but also a place in the city. [At press time, it was announced that Cianci will reside at the 903 Residences.] I’ll be making some pretty good money, more than I ever made as mayor, so I think I can afford it.
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