Jury Chosen in R.I. Mayor Case
Apr. 19, 2002
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ A jury was chosen Friday for the federal corruption trial of Mayor Vincent Cianci Jr.
Eight men and four women were selected to make up the panel; six alternates were also picked. The trial is expected to start Tuesday.
Cianci, 60, is accused of heading a scheme to solicit bribes in exchange for city jobs and contracts. Three others, including a former aide, will stand trial with him.
The six-term mayor and his co-defendants were arrested in an FBI corruption investigation known as Operation Plunder Dome. Since 1999, six people have been convicted.
Richard Rose, the lead prosecutor, said the first witness he plans to call will be David Ead, the former vice chairman of the city Tax Board. Ead pleaded guilty to bribery charges two years ago and agreed to cooperate with the FBI.
Earlier, U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres denied a request by defense attorneys to delay the trial's start by two weeks.
Cianci's attorney, Richard Egbert, asked for the extension Thursday, saying evidence _ including thousands of pages of documents and video footage of a city official allegedly taking a bribe from a government witness _ was given to them by prosecutors at the last minute.
Cianci is the longest-serving big city mayor in America and one of the most popular political figures in the state's history. He is charged with racketeering, extortion, bribery, mail fraud and witness tampering.