NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. —
North Providence has made the headlines for a number of controversies over the past year.
This week’s arrest of John Whiting, who was selected as North Providence police chief by Mayor Charles Lombardi three years ago, pains the city’s chief executive.
“I can’t catch a break. I just can’t catch a break. And we’ve done some great things here,” Lombardi said Friday. “Great things. And this is a good town.”
North Providence has been involved in most of the most recent high profile corruption cases in Rhode Island.
Three town councilmen are now serving federal time for bribery. The town solicitor also was caught up in the scheme.
A former town councilman was convicted of insurance fraud in another case with a radio personality from North Providence.
“I don’t know if there’s a bubbler somewhere that every time someone drinks from it, they have a problem,” Lombardi said. “I just don’t know.”
But they mayor is not writing off his chief, who is accused of lifting a little more than $700 in cash from a car he was chasing on Sunday.
Lombardi said he intends to let the police department take care of itself while the case against Whiting works through the courts.
“Our deputy police chief is very capable. He will be managing this police department until such time as we assess all of our options,” Lombardi said.
Whiting is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 9.