Takin’ Care of a Tax-Lien
Here’s a better explanation of the point regarding Felix Garcia’s tax-lien that I didn’t do a very good job of making on Matt Allen‘s show on Friday night: If the standard operating procedure in the City of Providence is to release a tax-lien, before even a promised partial payment has actually been made, the City of Providence should let the public know, and some of the appearance of corruption in the Felix Garcia/John Cicilline case might go away — but not all.
According to Christopher Bizzacco’s affidavit, if the city was unable to obtain the $75,000 (part to be applied to a partial payment to the city?) from Cicilline by February of 2007, at the absolute latest, then the lien should have been restored, yet it never was. Why didn’t the city reinstate the lien after February 2007? (And we know it wasn’t because the property in question was sold in May of 2007, without the issue of the lien having been addressed).
To me, the repeated instructions not to cash the check, but the lack of mention of any instructions not to reinstate the lien is the strangest part of Christopher Bizzacco’s affidavit. We know that the city still considered Felix Garcia’s debt to exist, because it was continuing to track the interest on the money owed. Are we to believe that Robert Ceprano (the city tax collector), on his own, made a decision not to reinstate the lien and let the matter drop, and that Ceprano was the sole city finance official who would have been aware of the status of an unpaid debt of over $100,000?