Residents and some city councilors said Tuesday the findings of a lacerating State Police report have eroded their trust in Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
During an almost four-hour meeting at City Hall, a few residents called on Fung to resign. Carol Myron described herself as a longtime acquaintance of the mayor, and said she had spent most of the afternoon reading the 182-page report.
“I’m disappointed for you, I’m disappointed for the citizens of Cranston and I don’t believe you can continue to lead us effectively and you should do the right thing,” Myron said to applause from the packed City Council chambers.
Some other residents credited Fung for improving Cranston's economy. The mayor himself, while acknowledging mistakes, maintained he had acted in taxpayers' interests.
Yet after an initial round of comments by 13 residents, including announced Democratic mayoral candidate Michael Sepe and local Republican City Committee leader Nick Lima, councilors focused on some of the key findings made by State Police.
Steven Stycos is one of two councilors whose wards were hit with a blitz of parking tickets in late 2013 after they voted against a police contract.
Stycos questioned Fung about the disparity between how the mayor made repeated efforts to retain Capt. Stephen Antonucci, while declining a relatively cheap settlement over legal expenses with Capt. Todd Patalano,
The State Police report identifies Antonucci, the former head of the police union, as the officer responsible for the ticket blitz. He's due to leave the Cranston department with a settlement next year. By contrast, the State Police report says Patalano was unfairly treated within the department. He's now suing the city for $5 million.
Fung reiterated many of the points he used with reporters last week in talking about the report. He said the Cranston Police Department is on a better footing now with Michael Winquist, a former high-ranking State Police officer, as chief, and that he's learning from past mistakes.
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