We Might Have to Start Another Evidence Box
Maybe we can plug the state deficit with Ethics Commission fines:
The Ethics Commission voted yesterday to prosecute state senator and union official Frank Ciccone on two charges, but dropped five other charges that his votes in the General Assembly amounted to ethics violations because they benefited unions he works for.
The decision means that in at least some circumstances, union officials who are members of the General Assembly can support legislation that benefits their unions. But commission Chairman James Lynch Sr. said that “this is not a blanket endorsement” for similar actions, and that the commission will deal with future cases one at a time.
The two charges the commission voted to prosecute relate to Ciccone’s failure to publicly disclose his income from the Rhode Island Laborers’ District Council of the Laborers International Union of North America — where he is president and a field representative and the union’s Local Union 808, where he is business manager — for 2005 and 2006.
The Senator claims that it was a “mistake.” You know, sort of like just happening to wind up with a half-billion dollar (and climbing) budget shortfall.