Another Question for David Cicilline on the Category 5: Why Did You Refuse to Give Your Own Internal Auditor Access to Operating Figures, Compelling Him, Incredibly, to Resort to FOIA Requests?
Yes, for six months, David Cicilline, you willfully withheld from the City’s Internal Auditor financial documents. Yes, James Lombardi – an auditor for the City of Providence, not some meddling outsider – had to file a public information request under the state’s open records law (!) in order to obtain from your administration the documents and numbers that he needed to do his job.
Why did you do this, Congressman Cicilline? Why didn’t you want this important information brought to light? Weren’t a raft of directly involved parties – taxpayers, city employees, the state, the federal gov’t – rightfully entitled to this information? So why did you impede a city employee from correctly doing his job and bringing this information to light?
Next, how could you then make very public representations that the city was experiencing “strong fiscal health” while you were deliberately withholding numbers and documents on the very subject of the city’s fiscal health? Did you know that those numbers and documents would demonstrate just the opposite of your assertion and potentially interfere with the political promotion that you wanted so badly? Did you feel no obligation to the city that you represented to come to grips with its serious financial problems by, at a minimum, honestly quantifying the extent of those problems? Or did nothing matter at that point beyond your own political aspirations?
If a CEO had committed the same egregious actions to cover up and deliberate misrepresent the financial standing of the corporation, s/he would face serious criminal charges, and rightfully so. I’m trying to understand, Congressman, why an elected official should be exempted from similar accountability.