This report from NBC 10 reporter Parker Gavigan suggests that one of the bigger worries expressed in my analysis of the state police report about the Cranston Police Department might actually have been understated:
City Council President John Lanni told the NBC 10 I-Team that he expects the council will introduce two resolutions at next Monday’s meeting that deal directly with the scathing state police report on Mayor Allan Fung’s leadership over the police department.
Lanni said the council will vote on a resolution of no confidence against Fung. …
Lanni also said he expects the council to “right a wrong” in the case of Patrolman Matthew Josefson.
As I mentioned in my analysis, Lanni appears to have become a political friend of Police Chief Michael Winquist, as well as the new prime beneficiary of donations from the the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 301. The core criticism of the state police report about Cranston is that there was too much alignment between the union, the chief, and the mayor. With their extremely biased report, the state police officers appear to have facilitated a switch to an equally unhealthy (or worse) alignment between the union, the chief, and the city council, which may be preparing to overstep its own bounds, to boot.
A quick look at the city’s charter suggests that a “no confidence” resolution would be purely political and that the council has no authority to dip into the minute details of city employment. They are well situated, however, to undermine the mayor and disrupt the operation of the city until the next election, at which point, they can complete their coup.
Depending how this goes, I may have to upgrade my criticism of the report from “extremely biased” to “recklessly and dangerously political.” If Chief Winquist and State Police Superintendent Steven O’Donnell don’t do what they can to stop the train that their report started rolling, they risk long-term damage to the credibility of the state police.