Despite the promise to shed light on matters in a to-be scheduled executive session meeting, council members on the Finance Committee still approved a resolution that calls for the mayor to appear before the council to answer questions about the overnight parking ticket investigation.
They also approved measures that ask for the state police to provide a report to the City Council on their findings on both the parking ticket probe as well as a variety of unspecified "issues" in the department, mostly relating to personnel matters.
Some members of the council said the mayor's office has left them in the dark in recent weeks as the overnight parking ticket scandal rages on and the state police continue to simultaneously run and investigate the Cranston Police Department.
Cranston's Chief of Staff, Carlos Lopez, said the holidays, snowstorms and other unforeseen circumstances caused the cancellation of a leadership meeting between the mayor and the City Council President last month, and there has been no concerted effort to withhold information from the council.
Instead, Lopez pushed back against accusations from Councilman Paul Archetto, who said it's "another example of the shroud of secrecy" in the mayor's office.
"I am available 24/7," Lopez said, noting that not one council member called him since the scandal erupted before resolutions were made and council members spoke to the news media.
Lopez said the mayor can't just publicly divulge details about ongoing investigations and chided the council for what he characterized as grandstanding in front of the TV cameras that were in council chambers Thursday night.
"I'll stand here right now and I'll bet my career on this," Lopez said. "The mayor is a man of integrity, this administration is one that works in an honest and efficient manner and to have [the resolutions] like a public document is unsettling and more importantly disappointing that you'd think that lowly of the mayor and this administration."
At one point during the meeting, the City Council's lawyer and the deputy city solicitor were at odds over whether the resolution should be voted on in the first place.
And not all council members are were on board with the resolution.
Don Botts voted against it and said the council should let the investigation run its course and that Archetto's statements about alleged police misconduct presumed guilt.
"Why have an investigation then?" Botts asked.
Councilman Michael Favicchio — not a member of the Finance Committee — asked why the rush?
"Why in the world can't we wait until we get a report or the mayor gets a report? Favicchio asked. "Why do we need to rush to get every bit of information when we haven't gotten a complete report? Is it because of the media? Is it because the mayor is running for governor?"
This story will be updated later on Friday.
For complete coverage of the issue, see:
Lawyer Joseph Rodio Sr. said it was pure chance that the neighborhoods of two City Councilmen were hit with an overnight parking ticket blitz the night they voted against a new union contract.
Request focuses on police captain and union president's use of personal cell phone the night of the "ticket blitz."
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.