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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  January 17, 2004
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Exclusive Investigation
State Owned SUV's Investigation
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    Governor Don Carcieri is cracking down on cell phones and vehicles- things he considers wasteful state spending.
     But the Governor's *own* s-u-v may be a waste of the taxpayers' money as well. 
     With a new Governor and a new Mayor in Providence, change is in the air in Rhode Island when it comes to the way government spends your money. 
     Wednesday, there are questions about state spending by even the governor and lieutenant governor themselves. 
    This is the way governor Don Carcieri gets around, the same way former Governor Lincoln Almond got around --- in a spacious, expensive lincoln navigator.
   This is one of roughly 15 hundred vehicles rhode island's taxpayers are on the hook for. 
   Tthe Governor believes that's probably too many, and he expects to reduce the number of state vehicles as part of his big audit.
   But Eyewitness News has learned it's not just the number of vehicles that may be wasteful, but also the type and the way some of them are paid for. 
   223 of the state's vehicles are more expensive suvs, so-called sport utility vehicles.
   And two of the suvs the state doesn't even own, it leases.
   Gov. Carcieri's lincoln navigator, for $1,175 a month, and lt. Gov. Charles fogarty's ford explorer, for $696 a month. 
   Lt. Gov. Fogarty believes leasing his ford explorer is a good deal for the taxpayers. 
   But Gov. Carcieri thinks ford's lease program sounds like a ripoff to him.  Fancy cars may seem to come with the territory of fancy offices, gov. Carcieri with his Lincoln Navigator here, lt. Gov. Fogarty with his ford explorer.    But check this down here.    Secretary of State Matt Brown drives this modest ford focus, complete with evidence of a little accident here. 
    A longtime watchdog of Rhode Island government is pleased to see Gov. Carcieri's big audit.

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