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 November 5, 2003
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Exclusive Investigation
Eyewitness News Exclusive Investigation: New Questions in Wendy Collins' Past
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There are new questions, tonight, concerning the credibility of both of the key players in this drama.
This story is white-hot in Rhode Island right now.
Not only because it involves the possible abuse of the taxpayers' money, but also in part because both of the people at the center of it are such colorful, and controversial, personalities.
It's turned into a "he said/she said" story with serious questions surrounding the credibility of both the "he" and the "she."
In a statement released last night, house speaker John Harwood accused former legislative researcher wendy collins of demanding more money from state taxpayers, in addition to what she already received in a 75-thousand dollar worker's compensation and wrongful termination settlement.
or else.
Or else, according to speaker Harwood, Wendy Collins said she would take her allegations of sexual harassment against speaker harwood to the media.
The speaker said he took what he called wendy Collins' "threat" seriously and he turned it over to the state police and requested a complete investigation.
What the house speaker didn't say, but what eyewitness news is told he knew before he made his statement, is that the state police already had refused his request to open an investigation.
"There wasn't in our view.. to the level of extortion.
There are questions swirling around Wendy Collins' credibility, too.
Twice on radio and television recently, she's changed her story, and now, evidence of another, unrelated flip-flop.
Eyewitness News has learned that just before christmas last year, wendy collins told the police that she was abducted in her own car by two hispnaic males, from the west cafe in Cranston and then managed to escape here along these railroad tracks on Allens avenue in Providence.
But the police say Wendy Collins changed her story later that same night, saying she was abducted from what is now the naissance restaurant here on atwells avenue in providence, not from the West Cafe on Park Avenue in cranston.
According to a Providence Police report obtained by Eyewitness News, quote, "due to the changing of victim's story, this incident was turned over to detectives and her vehicle was towed from the railroad tracks."
We were unable to reach either Wendy Collins or her lawyer.
But just before airtime, house speaker John Harwood's lawyer told us the speaker did not know the state police had decided not to investigate before he released his statement.
The lawyer, John Lynch, called it a "miscommunication," and he said if there was any error it was his, Lynch's not the speaker's or State Police Col. Pare's.

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