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Exclusive Investigation
The Plunder Dome Tapes: Part Five, Pannone On Tape
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Former City Tax Official David Ead was a principal witness against the Mayor. Ead said he arranged three bribes for Cianci. Eyewitness News investigative reporter Jack White joins us now with more.
David Ead is a former Providence Police officer who runs a vending machine company. His machines were in the state house, scores of city buildings, even in the federal courthouse where the Plunder Dome trial was held. Ead was well connected. David Ead bragged that his best connection was the man downtown, the big guy, the Mayor himself, Vincent �Buddy� Cianci.
When FBI undercover operative Antonio Freitas contacted Ead about reaching out to the mayor, Ead could not resist bragging about a bribe he said a building owner paid to Cianci.
Ead was vice chairman of the City Tax Assessment Review Board. The chairman was Joseph Pannone, who had been taking kickbacks from Freitas, but apparently not sharing the money.
At a later meeting in Freitasďż˝ office, Ead tells the FBI undercover operative that one of the lots he wanted to buy from the city - in exchange for a $10,000 kickback to Cianci ďż˝ had already been sold.
There was testimony during the trial that Cianci had met with city planning official Thomas Deller concerning the status of the two lots.
Freitas wondered if he should cut the proposed bribe in half because one of the lots had been sold.
Cianci�s lawyer, Richard Egbert, called Ead a degenerate gambler and a lair and a cheat who kept bribe money he collected for himself.
Ead was one of the first people charged in the Plunder Dome investigation. He later agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the hope of getting a lesser sentence. After his testimony, Ead was sentenced to one year home confinement, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $60,000 in restitution.

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