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.