Ex-councilman’s request for free lawyer denied


A federal judge has rejected a request to appoint a public defender for an imprisoned former North Providence town councilor.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Martin denied John Zambarano’s request on Wednesday.

Zambarano filed court papers on Sept. 15 seeking a federal public defender to help him in a “debriefing” with prosecutors. He is serving five years and four months at a federal prison in Virginia for his role in a bribery and extortion scheme involving two other former councilmen.

Zambarano, 48, admitted to soliciting bribes from local developers in exchange for favorable votes on zoning and licensing changes and lying to a federal agent. Zambarano also pleaded guilty in a separate $40,000 home insurance scheme.

A spokesman for the Rhode Island U.S. attorney’s office declined comment.

Leave a Reply