Arruda: corruption is legislators' fault

CVS and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island have been shown to figure in the ethics scandals of former state Senator John Celona and former House majority leader Gerry Martineau. Yet Bob Arruda, the longtime Operation Clean Government stalwart who now has a lead role with the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, blames legislators for setting the environment that allows corrpuption to take place in Rhode Island.

While asserting that many lawmakers do good work, Arruda, during a taping this morning of WPRI-WNAC's Newsmakers, faulted those who break the law for creating a "pay to play" environment for corporate entities. Arruda said he expects "a number" of legislators to be indicted, and that some corporations will get a close look, before Operation Dollar Bill runs its course.

Arruda had harsh words for the General Assembly's taking off authority from District Court for choosing the top job at the Traffic Tribunal. Referring to previous reforms meant to better insulate judicial appointments from the legislature, he characterized the Traffic Tribunal issue, and the selection of Bill Guglietta for the top post, as another instance of one step forward, two steps back, in Rhode Island.

Lawyer Lou Pulner, who is representing one of the plaintiffs in the same-sex divorce case before the Rhode Island Supreme Court, also appears on this week's show. Newsmakers is broadcast Sunday, at 5:30 am on Channel 12, and at 10 on Fox 64.

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