Lombardi raps Fernandez -- politics by other means?

Greg Smith has a lengthy piece in the ProJo today about John Lombardi highlighting some recent setbacks for the City of Providence's Law Department, which is headed up by City Solicitor Joseph M. Fernandez.

City Councilman John J. Lombardi, a critic of City Solicitor Joseph M. Fernandez, brought to light the missteps in the Municipal and Superior courts. They are part of a pattern of bad decisions and bungles by the Law Department during Fernandez’ tenure as department chief, Lombardi said.

Fernandez ought to quit, said Lombardi. In addition to the recent problems in the Municipal and Superior courts, Lombardi cited a list of nine cases and incidents that he made public when he voted against the solicitor’s reappointment last year.

Fernandez replied, “It’s not news that John Lombardi would criticize me or the administration” of Mayor David N. Cicilline.

Lombardi’s nine-item list includes, for example, the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from Roger Williams Park in 2004 and an assistant solicitor missing a court deadline to appeal a downtown zoning matter in 2004. The Law Department facilitated the removal of the monument without consideration by the Board of Park Commissioners and City Council that critics contended was required by law.

Might all this have something to do with how Fernandez is organizing a campaign for attorney general in 2010, and how Lombardi is a close political ally of state Senator Paul V. Jabour (D-Providence), who is a potential candidate for the same post?

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