Longtime RI broadcaster Ron St. Pierre, who maintains friendly ties with former Providence Mayor Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr., asserts that Buddy has "no bitterness" about his lengthy stay in federal prison and will have "no agenda" upon his return to Providence.
While some have speculated that Buddy, who is considered likely to take up a talk-show perch -- perhaps as colleagues with St. Pierre, John DePetro, and Dan Yorke at WPRO AM -- will be a thorn in the side of David N. Cicilline, St. Pierre does not expect that to be the case.
Speaking during a taping this morning of WPRI-WNAC TV's Newsmakers, St. Pierre said that Cianci, because he maintains his innocence, has no remorse. (A jury convicted RI's rascal king of a single count of racketeering conspiracy back in 2002.) The show will be broadcast Sunday, at 5:30 am on WPRI (CBS) and at 10 am on Fox Providence.
St. Pierre, who remains in contact with Cianci and has visited him at the federal prison in Fort Dix, New Jersey, says the former mayor has lost about 60 pounds, largely by walking, and has a good tan from spending time outdoors. Without his array of hairpieces, Cianci now resembles the late actor Peter Boyle, St. Pierre said.
Cianci is due to be released later this month to the Coolidge House, a halfway house in Boston, and he has work lined up at Fifteen Beacon, a posh hotel near the Massachusetts State House. (Last year, I wrote about the possible fallout of Buddy's return to Rhode Island.) He is expected to return to Rhode Island following the formal completion of his sentence in July.
The WPRO talker says he has no idea whether Cianci will land a talk-radio gig in RI, although it would be a natural thing for him to do.
The affection held by many Rhode Islanders for Cianci is misplaced, because of the corruption associated with his two tenures at Providence City Hall, St. Pierre said, but as with the Sopranos, there's sometimes little restriction on public fascination with dubious behavior.