Rhode Island Corrections’ Union President Fined for Excessive Political Donations
by Bill Barton
The Rhode Island Board of Elections voted in December 2019 to fine correctional officers’ union president Richard Ferruccio for allowing the union’s Political Action Committee (PAC) to exceed the state’s limit on annual campaign contributions for three successive years. Ferruccio agreed to pay the $1,020 penalty after the board voted to approve the fine.
The PAC exceeded the state’s $25,000 cap by $4,075 in 2017, $1,350 in 2018 and $4,775 through the first three quarters of 2019, according to the board’s findings.
Traditionally, the union has a vocal role in proceedings at the State House, particularly on criminal justice reform issues, including its recent opposition to the plan to close the high-security unit at the Adult Correctional Institution while a new unit is built. The PAC is also known to issue political endorsements during election season.
During 2019, the PAC donated $1,000 apiece to Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Congressman James Langevin, Treasurer Seth Magaziner, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio.
According to Richard Hahn, the PAC’s treasurer, the union has started new policies ensuring that it complies with state law, and he apologized for the past violations.
In other actions, the board fined Christopher Buffery, chairman of a PAC run by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, $350 for going over the state’s cap in 2018; and Raymond Berarducci, a former Providence City Council candidate, agreed to pay a $2,000 fine for accepting a loan from a family member.
Sources: Associated Press, bostonglobe.com, middletownpress.com
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- North Carolina Prisoner Escapes to Flee Coronavirus Death Sentence, by David Reutter
- From the Editor, by Paul Wright
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- Thinking in a Pandemic: Let the People Go, by Joseph Margulies
- BOP Loses Fight Against Orders to Release Ohio Prisoners Threatened By Coronavirus
- Staying Alive: A Doctor’s Guide for Prisoners on Staying Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic, by Michael D. Cohen, MD
- ‘Prisons Are No Place for a Pandemic:’ Advocates Fight to Free Their Loved Ones, by Victoria Law
- Former Missouri Jail Prisoner Ordered to Repay $1.3 Million Settlement for Faking Injuries But Whereabouts Unknown, by Jayson Hawkins
- GEO Jail in New York City Sees Rapid Spread of Coronavirus
- Coronavirus Kills Michigan Prisoner Days Before His Release After Serving 44 Years, by Chad Marks
- Prison Postcards: Official Accounts Differ from Prisoner Accounts as the Pandemic Spreads, by Ken Silverstein
- Interview: David Fathi of ACLU’s National Prison Project on Criminal Justice Reform in the Age of Coronavirus, by Ken Silverstein
- Coronavirus Pandemic Could Vastly Reduce Prison Voting, by David Reutter
- Eleventh Circuit Says COVID-19-Wracked Miami Jail Can’t Be Forced to Give Prisoners Soap, Masks, by David M. Reutter
- Ohio Prisoner with Coronavirus Released Without Use of Preventative Measures; Cases Inside Soaring, by Kevin Bliss
- Large Scale Releases and Public Safety, by Peter Wagner
- Alabama Reopens Ancient Prison to Quarantine COVID-19 Prisoners, by Edward Lyon
- CoreCivic Detention Center Demanded Detainees Sign Liability Release to Receive Masks, by Kevin Bliss, David Reutter
- COVID-19 Cases Soar at Federal Prisons in California; Half at Lompoc Have the Coronavirus, by Derek Gilna
- Unsealed Documents Expose Treatment Failures at San Diego Jail, by Anthony Accurso
- Federal Court Slams Michigan Jail for Bungling COVID-19 Pandemic, Demands Names of Vulnerable Prisoners for Release, by Christopher Zoukis
- Prison Officials Limit Prisoner Communications During COVID-19 Crisis, by Derek Gilna
- Rhode Island Corrections’ Union President Fined for Excessive Political Donations, by Bill Barton
- Silence: The Bureau of Prisons’ Pathetic Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, by Christopher Zoukis
- Hawaii Institutes Non-Contact Visits at Another Prison to Control Contraband, by Kevin Bliss
- Number of California Prisoners Falling; Lifer Population Declines Slightly as Well, by Edward Lyon
- New York Judge Orders Release of 18 Rikers Island Detainees Due to COVID-19 Risk, by Christopher Zoukis
- Kansas County Jails People for Unpaid Medical Bills, by Douglas Ankney
- $200,000 Awarded to Missouri Prison Guard Over Sexual Harassment, Retaliation, by Matthew Clarke
- New ACLU Study Says COVID-19 Deaths in Prison Will Soar Without More Releases, Fewer Arrests, by Derek Gilna
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- Louisiana Governor’s Inaction Prevents Release of Grandmother Hospitalized with COVID-19, by Kevin Bliss
- Report: Oaks of Justice Pitch to Help Prisoners Return Home Appears Shady, by Bill Barton
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- Florida Continues to Use Slave Labor During Coronavirus Outbreak, by Kevin Bliss
- Interview: Don Specter of the Prison Law Office on California Prisons, COVID-19 and Governor Newsom, by Ken Silverstein
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- Audit: Massachusetts Department of Corrections Failed to Provide Timely Health Care or Reentry Services, by Douglas Ankney
- Nebraska Prison Employee Labor Agreement Contains Unusual Provision, by Matthew Clarke
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- News in Brief
More from Bill Barton:
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- Alabama Says It Will Reform Prisons, the Nation’s Deadliest, Aug. 1, 2020
- Devastating Consequences of Chicago Gang Database – And No Way to Be Removed, July 15, 2020
- Rappers Jay-Z and Yo Gatti Help Prisoners in Mississippi Sue State Over “Inhumane and Unconstitutional Conditions”, July 1, 2020
- Rhode Island Corrections’ Union President Fined for Excessive Political Donations, June 1, 2020
- Report: Oaks of Justice Pitch to Help Prisoners Return Home Appears Shady, June 1, 2020
- A Mass Purge of Misconduct Records by Phoenix, Arizona Police, May 15, 2020
- Michigan Permits Prisoners to Seek Financial Assistance for College, May 1, 2020
- D.C. Juvenile Offender Finally Released After 26 Years Behind Bars, May 1, 2020
- Massachusetts Supreme Court Orders DOC to Free Terminally Ill Prisoners After DOJ Investigates Mistreatment, April 1, 2020
More from these topics:
- Police Unions Buy Their Way Out of Reform, Sept. 15, 2020. Lobbying, Criminal justice system reform, Guard Unions.
- Report: Attorney Appointment a ‘Pay For Play’ Arrangement in Texas County, Aug. 15, 2020. Bribery/Extortion/Theft, Abuse of Position of Trust.
- Nebraska Supreme Court: Multiple Theft Charges for Stealing Items Belonging to Several People at Same Time and Place Violates Double Jeopardy, June 15, 2020. Double jeopardy, Bribery/Extortion/Theft.
- Nebraska Prison Employee Labor Agreement Contains Unusual Provision, June 1, 2020. Guard Unions.
- Massachusetts Prison Retaliates Against Prisoners for Assault on Guards; Court Grants Preliminary Injunction in Class Action, April 1, 2020. Lockdowns, Preliminary Injunctions/TRO's, Class Certification, Control Units/SHU/Solitary Confinement, Assaults on Staff, Guard Unions.
- New York: 58-Month Prison Sentence for Former Jail Union Boss Who Took Bribes, May 3, 2019. Misconduct/Corruption, Guard Unions.
- Federal Circuit Upholds BOP Guard’s Termination Despite 1,265-Day Delay, April 22, 2019. Telephones, Guards/Staff, Employee Litigation, Guard Unions, 42 U.S. Code § 1983, civil action for deprivation of rights.
- Hawaii Prison Guards’ Union Fights Policy of Denying Promotions, Feb. 5, 2019. Guard Unions.
- Federal Prisons Use Nurses and Cooks as Guards While Officials Push to Fill Private Prisons, Dec. 7, 2018. Staffing, Guards/Staff, Guard Unions, Staff Training.
- Prisons Don’t Damage Only Prisoners; Guards at Risk of PTSD and Suicide, Too, June 8, 2018. Statistics/Trends, Mental Health, Suicides, Guards/Staff, Guard Unions.