Indicted Rhode Island Man Denied Benefits

Cranston, R.I., Mayor John O’Leary has dismissed indicted city official Raymond DeLuca and is refusing to pay him for nearly $24,000 worth of unused vacation and sick days that he accrued since his hiring in 1985. DeLuca, formerly the director of computer services, was suspended without pay by O’Leary’s predecessor, Michael A. Traficante (who had corruption trouble of his own and is now a LIUNA boss), upon being charged two years ago with racketeering and bribery. O’Leary, who took office in January, eliminated DeLuca’s position as part of his restructuring of City Hall. Kathleen DeLuca, who was indicted on the same charges as her husband, remains suspended without pay from the position of city treasurer. The couple is awaiting trial.

The DeLucas’ attorney, Stephen Famiglietti, responded by requesting that the city pay his client for compensatory time and unused vacation and sick days. O’Leary said the city was required by federal law to pay DeLuca $268 for the 8.5 hours of overtime he had logged. But O’Leary said he would not pay DeLuca $23,995 for 58 unused vacation days and 40 unused sick days. “We believe at this point we can’t justify paying the complete severance until he is exonerated. If he is exonerated, we should have to pay,” O’Leary said. “We believe a person should have served honorably. The indictment that hangs over him has tainted his service to the city.”

DeLuca has filed a grievance over the severance pay with the Nat. Ass’n of Gov’t Employees Local R1-98. His
position, along with others, was actually removed from NAGE as a result of a dispute with the administration over supervisors being allowed in the union. But he was represented by the union at the time he accumulated his vacation and sick days.

In Oct. 1997, the Atty. Gen.’s office accused the DeLucas of accepting kickbacks in return for securing city computer contracts for a company owned by former purchasing agent John A. Calcagni. Calcagni was indicted at the same time as the DeLucas and will stand trial with them. The trial is scheduled to begin next month. Prosecutors say the DeLucas received $188,771 between 1989 and 1992 in exchange for making sure that Calcagni’s company, CABUS, was awarded approximately $ 564,000 in equipment and service contracts. The trial was supposed to begin last fall, but was delayed after Kathleen DeLuca suffered serious leg injuries in an automobile accident. Following that, special-prosecutions chief Joseph DeCaporale, the lead prosecutor on the case, lost his job when Sheldon Whitehouse became Atty. Gen. [Providence J.-Bull. 9/1/99]

Note that Whitehouse was the U.S. Atty. that went after ethically-challenged Robert D. Luskin for improper acceptance of tainted legal fees from mob money-launder Stephen A. Saccoccia.  In a rare move, Luskin eventually forfeit $245,000 to the federal government. Luskin also serves as the “in-house prosecutor” for LIUNA’s failed “internal reform effort” which monitors anther corrupt Rhode Islander, LIUNA boss Arthur A. Coia.