Dollar Bill Investigation Includes Senators Alves and DaPonte

Mike Stanton of the Projo confirms the names of two more Rhode Island legislators being investigated as part of operation Dollar Bill, State Senators Stephen Alves of West Warwick and Daniel DaPonte of East Providence…

Last fall, a lawyer for a local union pension fund came across a puzzling entry on the fund’s federal tax return — a $100,000 commission that had reportedly been split by Daniel DaPonte and Stephen D. Alves.
DaPonte and Alves, Rhode Island state senators and financial advisers who worked at UBS Financial Services, didn’t handle any of the pension fund’s investments. So why, the fund’s trustees wondered, did the return say that they had each received $50,000…
“The $100,000 payment,” responded [Prudential Financial] in a letter written last fall, “was a one-time finders fee” to UBS for “introducing Prudential to the possible opportunity at [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers] Local No. 99 Annuity Fund.”
That came as news to the financial consultant who oversaw the process in which Prudential was selected and says he was not aware of UBS’s involvement or the $100,000 payment. The lawyer for the pension fund says he was also unaware.
The Prudential letter did not elaborate on how UBS earned its finders’ fee or what role DaPonte or Alves played…
During the 2005 session, which opened a few months after UBS received the $100,000 payment from Prudential, DaPonte was a co-sponsor of two more bills affecting electricians.
[Local 99 business manager Allen Durand] testified on behalf of one of the 2005 bills, which would have forbidden apprentice electricians with out-of-state certificates to work in Rhode Island. The bill passed the Senate and died in the House.
Durand also registered as a lobbyist for the other bill, regarding electrician’s licenses, which passed the Senate and the House and became law, without the governor’s signature.

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jacob
jacob
14 years ago

This is just the beginning I hear. Iwas told by a very good source that they pulled the same thing with pension funds and public money in North Providence set up by Mollis and Montalbano in return for North Providence getting distressed community status and bail out Mollis fiscal mess.Feds been probing this recently.

ed
ed
14 years ago

DaPonte was considered a future Senate leader or statewide candidate. This will sink his rising star for sure. Nice guy but greed makes them all do this stuff.

Will
14 years ago

“DaPonte and Alves, Rhode Island state senators and financial advisers who worked at UBS Financial Services, didn’t handle any of the pension fund’s investments. So why, the fund’s trustees wondered, did the return say that they had each received $50,000…”
Could anyone tell me how this isn’t considered bribery of a public official? What’s the difference between cutting them a check for little or no work and just leaving an envelope full of cash of their desks?
At least in regard to DaPonte, who ran for reelection unopposed in 2006, this may just be the type of thing that helps motivate some opposition.
Dan’s usually thought of as a “nice guy,” but if he’s been hanging around Alves, that’s not very good news for Dan.

Anthony
Anthony
14 years ago

Will,
Nobody can tell you the difference between this and bribery because there is no difference.
I understand how a part-time legislator’s day job and his or her time in the General Assembly may be conflicted. That’s why there is such a thing called abstention.
There is no way that Daponte should have been voting on issues affecting IBEW after the organization cut his firm a check for $100,000. Sponsoring legislation on IBEW’s behalf is even worse.
Rumors about Alves operating in an ethical gray area have always been around and Stanton ocuments the exact type of arrangement that has been rumored about.
I guess we know two more members of the Dollar Bill 7, although I think Alves was on everyone’s short list anyway.
We should term limit all these guys.

SusanD
SusanD
14 years ago

STEVE ALVES?!?!?!?! You’re KIDDING!!!!! I absolutely don’t believe it. This is COMPLETELY out of left field!!! The FBI is SO off track on THIS one!!!!!

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