Plunder Dome Reporter
Federal Charges Still a Possibility
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday it is too early to say whether federal prosecutors will pursue charges against the defense lawyer who admitted leaking an FBI tape to a reporter, then lying about it.
During the investigative reporter Jim Taricani's sentencing hearing, Bevilacqua testified that he lied to a special prosecutor in February 2002 when asked if he leaked the secret FBI tape. Taricani was convicted of criminal contempt for refusing to identify his source. Thomas Connell, a spokesman for the federal office in Providence, said preliminary work still needs to be done before the office considers any action against attorney Joseph Bevilacqua Jr. Bevilacqua's attorney, Thomas Tarro, has told The Associated Press he expected his client will face charges for leaking the tape.
The tape showed former mayoral aide Frank Corrente taking a $1,000 cash bribe. It was part of a federal corruption probe, dubbed Operation Plunder Dome, which ultimately sent Corrente, former Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci and other city officials to federal prison. Bevilacqua had the tape because he was the lawyer for former city tax official Joseph Pannone, who pleaded guilty in the corruption scandal.