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September 12, 2006
Urciuoli's former secretary testifies
PROVIDENCE -- The secretary to former Roger Williams Medical Center president Robert A. Urciuoli was the first person to testify this morning at the trial of Urciuoli and two others in U.S. District Court.
Sheila Capobianco testified about setting up a series of meetings in 1997 regarding the hiring of Celona and getting a state Ethics Commission opinion on whether it was appropriate to hire the longtime state senator.
Urciuoli, former president of the medical center; Frances P. Driscoll, a former vice president; and Peter J. Sangermano, a former associate, are accused of stealing the honest services of Celona, a longtime state senator from North Providence.
Capobianco recalled Urciuoli saying Celona was being hired for his strong ties to the community, but she said Driscoll didn't seem comfortable with the hiring.
After Celona was hired, the state senator offered to help set up a meeting with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island when Blue Cross president Ron Battista wasn't returning Urciuoli's calls, Capobianco testified.
-- With reports from Journal staff writer Mike Stanton.
PROVIDENCE -- Former state Sen. John A. Celona could take the stand as early as today in the corruption trial of Roger Williams Medical Center's former president and two associates in U.S. District Court.
Robert A. Urciuoli, former president of the medical center; Frances P. Driscoll, a former vice president; and Peter J. Sangermano, a former associate, are accused of stealing the honest services of Celona, a longtime state senator from North Providence.
Celona has pleaded guilty to selling his office to Roger Williams, as well as the CVS drugstore chain and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.
In opening statements yesterday, Urciuoli's lawyer contended that Celona was hired to do honest work after the then-state senator asked Urciuoli for a job. Celona was paid $260,638 from 1998 to 2004.
As part of his agreement to cooperate in an ongoing investigation, Celona is expected to testify. He could take the stand late today or, more likely, tomorrow morning.
Read today's Journal story.
Posted by Jack Perry at 11:39 AM | Permalink
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