Just when you think questionable doings couldn’t get any more questionable in Rhode Island, along comes the state Department of Transportation, which looks like it is going to get a giant proctology exam. We refer, of course, to a federal grand jury’s interest in the DOT’s use of construction materials, and questions, as raised by the Other Paper’s Kathy “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” Gregg, about just how closely DOT looked at a company, formerly known as Beta Engineering, during an audit.
Not to worry, boys and girls. Except for minor bickering with Beta for driving up the demand for Liquid Paper, it appears that no one has been taken to task. And it’s even better if you are on the state’s side, since Jerry Williams, who headed DOT during at least part of this farce, has recently been promoted to run the state Department of Administration.
He can pick up his Yossarian Medal for Public Service at the nearest 7-Eleven. Catch a 22.
Is this the end of Rocco?
The doyens of Casa Diablo like nothing better than a good conspiracy theory, and we have the opportunity to formulate one, thanks to the fine reporting of the veteran Other Paper scribe Thomas J. Morgan.
We’ve closely followed the mighty Morgan’s reports on Rocco DeSimone, the art dealer who cheated on his taxes and who recently took an unscheduled vacation from the federal minimum security prison in New Jersey that he’d been calling home for the past few years.
Your superior correspondents felt there was something unusual about this case. We wondered why New York swells would have their multi-million dollar art treasures brokered by a “Rocco of Johnston.” This is like coming into about $10 million, wanting to build a lavish estate, and opting for “Jo-Jo of West Warwick” as the architect. But be that as it may.
Does anyone think that Rocco, who had a mere nine months left on his sentence, would make a futile attempt to “escape” and then immediately head back to the Biggest Little? No, our fabulous conspiracy theory is that Rocco got spooked when the FBI visited his home a couple of days before his brief prison holiday. Perhaps they were getting close to whatever valuable stuff he stowed away somewhere. So, as our theory goes, he was willing to take another six months to make sure the feds don’t get their hands on whatever ill-gotten swag is in the area.
We figured this out in about 20 minutes, with only a bottle of Chianti and a half-dozen New York System gaggers. So, US Attorney Corrente, if you want our help in finding the remains of Jimmy Hoffa in West Greenwich, or identifying the real killer of JFK (who’s been hiding out at a Job Lot in Cran¬ston for the past decade), give us a call.
We made it! Four thousand of America’s bravest young men and women needlessly died in the service of a misguided pack of lies! And now, one of Dubya’s war enablers, John “100 Years” McCain, parrots Boy George’s long-running crooked talk. Never mind the escalating violence, particularly in Baghdad. The war is a “success” and we are “winning.”
Sleep tight, George Orwell.
And did you hear the other happy news? Dubya is right! The economy is looking good! P+J saw the article describing how local building contractors are making good money by boarding up foreclosed houses. The surge is working! And hold your breath, taxpayers, for that big thank you from the shrewd top execs at Bear Stearns, who appreciate you and me taking the fall so they can save their inflated salaries, gated community homes, and Hummers.
Meet your new best friend, fellow citizens: Ben Dover.