ProCAP headquarters in Providence.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Mayor Angel Taveras on Tuesday sacked three members of the board at the taxpayer-funded Providence Community Action Program including a city councilman, after they refused to fire its longtime leader for alleged financial improprieties.
In a letter to Frank Corbishley, ProCAP’s executive director, Taveras called on him to resign after an audit now in progress revealed “staggering mismanagement of your agency.” Among those ousted from the board was City Council Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas Narducci, whose brother works for ProCAP, a source familiar with the matter said.
Corbishley has been ProCAP’s executive director since June 1991, according to published reports. His previous tenure at ProCAP ended in December 1984 when Mayor Joseph Paolino took office and fired five officials there close to his predecessor, Vincent “Buddy” Cianci. Corbishley returned to ProCAP when Cianci returned as mayor in 1991.
The problems at the agency first came to light in October when WPRI.com reported City Council President Michael Solomon, the board’s chairman, had brought in Richardson to conduct an independent audit. So far he’s discovered at least $675,092 in government funds that weren’t spent properly, according to the mayor.
Corbishley issued a statement that blasted Taveras for his “irresponsible release of information,” and said the mayor is trying to hijack control of ProCAP to help his political allies. Corbishley said there are “no ‘missing’ funds,” and blamed the recession, rising costs and a former comptroller for the “current financial concerns at ProCAP.”
No-interest loans, voided checks
ProCAP’s worsening reputation means “millions of dollars of agency funding has now been put at risk: endangering jobs, services and our poorest neighborhoods,” Taveras said. Among some of local accountant Kenneth Richardson’s initial findings, the mayor wrote to Corbishley: