Channel 12 reports the Providence Board of Licenses believes there’s not enough concrete evidence to revoke a liquor license for a bar that’s been implicated in a corruption probe. But Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he’s still looking into the matter.
The accusations came to light as part of corruption charges against former House Speaker Gordon Fox. He pleaded guilty to accepting a 52-thousand dollar bribe from the former owners of a sushi bar called Shark when they were applying for a liquor license in 2008. At the time, Fox was vice chair of the city Board of licenses. Now, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he’s wants to revoke the bar’s license.
“This is a public trust issue; this was something that was procured by fraud. My legal department is researching right now whether we have the legal authority to revoke the license," said Elorza. "If we do, believe me, we’re going to be moving very aggressively to do so.”
At the time of it’s opening, Shark Bar and Grille was subject to vocal pushback from the neighborhood.
Elorza said he will be ramping up efforts to tamp down on corruption following Fox’s arraignment. The Mayor wouldn’t single out the board of licenses, but said he wants everyone at city hall to receive ethics training.
“We’re going to set the tone from the very top that I expect every employee every single person serving on a board and commission to have the utmost respect for our laws and conduct themselves in an ethical and transparent way.”
Elorza recently named a city ethics oversight commission. That was part of a promise he made while still on the campaign trail.
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