In separate segments, Colonel Brendan Doherty of the Rhode Island State Police and Dennis Grilli, executive director of AFSCME's Council 94, are the guests this week on WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers. Tim White fills in as host for the vacationing Steve Aveson, joined by Arlene Violet and myself.
Doherty told me that the different stances between himself and Dean Esserman regarding Governor Carcieri's executive order on immigration have not had an adverse effect on relations between the state police and their counterparts in Providence.
In response to a question from Tim, the colonel was a bit tightlipped in commenting on Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio's status as the only active reputed mob boss in the US who remains on the street. According to information developed by Tim, the bosses in other cities and regions have only acting status or are behind bars.
In terms of corruption, the state police have some active cases, Doherty said, and the agency's financial crimes unit remains on lookout for others.
Grilli, a center of attention as part of his union's ongoing conflict with the governor, described the moving of the battle to court as "uncharted territory," adding that in his view the administration should go through the process and return to the bargaining table.
Asked why Council 94's rank and file overwhelmingly opposed a settlement, he said it would take a harsh toll, more than doubling healthcare premiums, from about $38 to $90 per pay period, for the majority of union members who earn less than $40,000 a year. The governor's supporters, of course, appear delighted by Carcieri's stance.
The show will be broadcast Sunday, at 5:30 am on Channel 12, and at 10 am on Fox 64.