Tuesday, May 3, 2005

R.I. Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Contempt and Perjury for Leaking FBI Tape to Reporter

Rhode Island attorney Joseph Bevilacqua, Jr., agreed to plead guilty to contempt of court and perjury for leaking to a television reporter an FBI videotape of a Providence city official accepting a bribe.  The tape was made during the investigation of former Providence Mayor Vincent Cianci, whose 60 month sentence for corruption was recently remanded by the First Circuit for resentencing in light of Booker, and showed one of Cianci's top aides, Frank Corrente, taking money. Bevilacqua was counsel for one of the defendants during the prosecution and gave the tape in violation of a court order to a local NBC reporter, Jim Taricani, who aired the tape and later served four months in jail for refusing to divulge the source of the leaked video.  A special prosecutor eventually identified Bevilacqua, and he will now plead guilty before what I suspect will be a very angry U.S. District Judge who is unlikely to view the conduct with much sympathy -- there's just something about violating explicit judicial orders and then lying about it.  In addition, an AP story (here) about the case notes that the chief counsel for the Rhode Island Supreme Court's Disciplinary Board plans to seek Bevilacqua's disbarment.  For those who recall the name, Bevilacqua's father was Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court until leaving the bench in 1987 under a cloud for alleged ties to mobsters.  (ph)


Legal Ethics, Media, Perjury, Prosecutions | Permalink

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