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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  January 15, 2004
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Exclusive Investigation
Civic Center Authority Members Getting Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Free Tickets
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    Eyewitness News has learned some of those tickets are actually paid with taxpayer money.
    The free tickets continue to flow despite authority chairman Joshua Teverow's repeated claims that the Dunkin' Donuts Center needs increased city subsidies and aid from the state to survive.
    Teverow refused to turn over many records we requested under terms of the state access to public records law.
    The Dunkin' Donut center, formerly known as the Providence Civic Center, has had all the big entertainers and many national sporting events.
    And through it all the nine members of the Providence Civic Center Authority have had the best seats in the house - at no cost.
    An Eyewitness News Investigation shows each member of the authority gets 4 free tickets for each of the 90 or so events, excluding concerts, held in the building each year. that's more than 32-hundred free tickets.
    For example, the Providence Bruins provide free of charge at the request of the authority four tickets per game for each authority member - the equivalent of 36 season tickets worth more than 13-thousand dollars
  "five years ago, officials at providence college were concerned about possibly violating the state's ethics laws by continuing to give authority members tickets."
  The college stopped the practice....but that didn't stop the Civic Center authority, which decided to have civic center buy the tickets and give them free of charge to authority members.
  For the recently completed Providence College basketball season the center bought 648 tickets for authority members at a cost of almost $15,000.
  Authority member, city councilman Patrick Butler, told us originally he did not take free providence college tickets. he said he paid for them.
 "All the tickets you used for providence college basketball games you paid for? uh,huh. yes."
  When we checked we learned Butler had not paid for the tickets. He later told us he had intended to pay for them and would do so in the future.
  The Eyewitness News Investigation shows the 3200 plus free tickets provided to authority members for all events this past year carry a value of at least $64,800, which means each member got $7,200 dollars in free tickets.
   The Providence home rule charter says authority members shall not receive compenstion for their service.
   An authority member told us he thinks the free tickets are a long standing reward for hard work, but that he's willing to give up the tickets.
 "I cannot speak for other members of the board, but i can tell you from this point forward i will not take anyomre tickets from the civic center.   
   The authority's chairman, Joshua Teverow did not respond to our repeated calls.
   We're told teverow was instrumental in refusing to turn over many of the records we requested.
   We did obtain a letter the authority's lawyer sent to members urging full disclosure. Paul Jones wrote...
 "...any delay...will result in embarrassment to the authority..."
   The records not  fully disclosed include minutes of authority meetings and the distribution of tickets for the recent Bruce Springsteen concert..  
  Weiner said some of his tickets went to charities.
  Councilman Butler said he gave tickets to constituents and people who could not afford some events.
  Butler, by the way, dropped off a $16-hundred dollar check today at the dunkin' donuts center for those Providence College tickets.
  Authority Memebrs said they did not use all the free tickets.
  But many of the tickets were used by personal friends of authority members and tickets also were used for political favors.
  Tuesday at six..  we'll take a look at how many tickets authority members had for the Bruce Springsteen concert..tickets that otherwise would have been sold to the general public.

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