WPRI is reporting on its web page that a recent federal indictment of three members of the North Providence town council arose from another council member blowing the whistle on them. Last Thursday, Town Council President Joseph Burchfield, Councilman Raymond Douglas and Councilman John Zambarano posted bond after declining to enter pleas in the extortion and bribery charges against them. WPRI has posted a copy of an affidavit by FBI Special Agent James D. Pitcavage which details how another member of the town council cooperated with the FBI to obtain recordings of the scheme in action.
WPRI also interviewed Robert Wegand, a former Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor. His cooperation with the FBI led to a prison term for former Pawtucket Mayor Brian Sarault. Weygand told WPRI, "The lion's share of the majority of the people say 'thank you, great job, we're really proud of you'. But, in politics particularly, there is an undercurrent, that you can see it in people's eyes. You can see it when you shake their hand, that it's not really very sincere. And you can see it in different things that occur. So, there's always that undercurrent that 'he was that snitch, he did another democrat in, that type of thing." In reflecting what is in store for the new whistleblower, Weygand explains, "There will be a very subtle alienation of him by other political people. They can't trust him. There are other people that will make him the hero, and talk about what a great job he did, and they will applaud him, rightfully so. But, there will always be, I think, as there's been with me and all the other whistle blowers that I talk to, there is that undercurrent from people who still don't believe that you were honest."