Instead, Joseph J. Rodio Sr., who represents the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 301 said the order came down from Capt. Stephen Antonucci — also the president of the union — in response to requests from council members to enforce overnight parking bans.
Rodio told the Providence Journal that Antonucci pledged to step up enforcement of overnight parking problems when he was promoted to Captain from Lieutenant last summer and the issuance of more than 50 tickets the night of the vote had nothing to do with the contract vote, calling the claims of Councilmen Paul Archetto and Steve Stycos of retribution "outlandish."
Rodio also divulged details of the internal investigation conducted by Cranston Police and said seven officers were interviewed before Antonucci and none said they issued tickets in retaliation.
The State Police are now leading the department after Cranston Police Chief Col. Marco Palombo Jr. was placed on paid leave last week by Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung. Fung said he wanted state authorities to conduct their own investigation as well as address myriad issues plaguing the department and affecting morale.
The City Council's Finance Committee meets tonight and the saga is expected to be discussed.
Before this ticketing scandal, the Cranston Police Department has been typically held in high regard by other law enforcement agencies and people who work closely with the department. This past year, the department received exclusive state accreditation and last year obtained national accreditation — something fewer that five percent of departments across the country achieve.
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State Police are conducting a broad review of the department's operations in the wake of an overnight parking ticket scandal.
After voting against a new police contract, Councilmen Steve Stycos and Paul Archetto say their wards were targeted by a rash of tickets in retaliation.
Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung has responded to allegations of abuse of power at the Cranston Police Department over a flurry of parking tickets that two city councilmen say were issued in retribution against their votes.
allegations of improper use of police authority," according to a release.