Unabridged Video of Sen. Pres. Paiva Weed’s Short Presser; DUI Victim & Candidate Keith Anderson Goes Beyond “No Comment”


As one can hear almost palpably in the voice of WPRI’s Ted Nesi as he shouts out a futile question at the very end of this clip, the brevity and lack of substance beyond the written press release of RI Sen. President Teresa Paiva Weed’s pre-session press conference, this afternoon, frustrated the assembled journalists.


In case Rhode Islanders aren’t getting it, the releases say it all.  From Paiva Weed:

Senator Ciccone and I met this afternoon.  I expressed my concern regarding the events of last week.  He agreed the events were regrettable and he was contrite. After a brief discussion we agreed that the institution of the Senate is larger than any one individual.  Toward that end, he has agreed to step down as Chairman of the Government Oversight Committee and he is also stepping down as a member of that committee.  He has also agreed to step down as a member of the Senate Committee on Finance. 

It is my desire to put these events behind us and focus on the work that needs to be done to move Rhode Island forward.

Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio (whose arrest for DUI in Barrington set off the story):

I accept full responsibility for my actions last week. I am putting this incident behind me, and I look forward to continuing to focus on the many important issues facing our state.

Translation: You’ve had your two ounces of flesh.  The power brokers are moving on; nobody else in an official capacity is likely to say anything to keep the story alive; and as soon as the last vestiges of controversy fade, you people will have no choice but to move on to other stories.

For some statement beyond “no comment,” the Current contacted Keith Anderson, an East Providence teacher who is running for state representative of district 29, from Coventry.  Mr. Anderson is quadriplegic, having been a passenger in a truck hit by a drunk driver in 2002.

It is disappointing that our elected officials continue to make these poor decisions. As public figures, especially in this state, I would hope that they would aim a little higher in an effort to be role models and upstanding citizens for others to want to emulate. While the decision to allegedly drive while intoxicated was bad in its own right, his conduct after being stopped was even more disappointing.