Embattled councilman to pay fine to settle ethics complaint
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An embattled Providence city councilman has agreed to pay $1,500 to settle an ethics complaint regarding his vote to rezone a property owned by his former landlord.
The complaint against Democrat Luis Aponte was unrelated to the embezzlement charges that prompted him to step down as the council’s president last year. He has pleaded not guilty in that case and remains a member of the council.
WPRI-TV reports that Aponte was living in a building owned by Keith Fernandes when Fernandes asked the council to rezone a different property.
The state ethics commission voted 6-0 to settle with Aponte and avoid public adjudication. As part of the deal, Aponte acknowledged that he violated the state ethics code and agreed to stop pursuing his claim of “absolute legislative immunity.”