Politician Behind Controversial Providence Ordinance Indicted
We have followed Providence and the controversial ordinance called the Community Safety Act (CSA) over the last few weeks and was dumbfounded when the city council came very close to passing a bill that paid a strange homage to gang members while stripping powers away from a very good and professional police department.
One of the leaders behind this anti-police ordinance, Providence City Council President Luis Aponte, was arraigned Wednesday on four charges – including embezzlement – stemming from a Rhode Island State Police investigation into his alleged misuse of campaign funds.
Appearing before Superior Court Judge Luis Matos, Aponte pleaded not guilty to two felony charges – unlawful appropriation from his campaign fund and embezzlement – and two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully using campaign funds for personal use. Aponte was indicted by a statewide grand jury.
Aponte, a Democrat, is scheduled to appear in court June 19. He was released on $1,000 personal recognizance.
Mayor Jorge Elorza, who is a supporter of the CSA, quickly issued a statement calling for Aponte to resign as president of the council.
According to WPRI, Aponte has a long history of campaign finance violations. In 2005, the Board of Elections was awarded a civil judgment against Aponte for $14,000 for delinquent campaign finance report filings. The judgment was increased to $19,700 two years later after he was found in contempt. The board said the judgment was paid in full in 2014, but as of last September Aponte still faced $47,916 in penalties for additional late filings.