‘Crimetown’ Investigator Questions Fire Chief

A former FBI agent was seen at Town Hall Sept. 22 and sources say he was there to question Fire Chief Russell McGillivray.

Private investigator Dennis Aiken was one of the main FBI agents whose investigation of former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci and his administration ended with Cianci serving five years in prison.

Simultaneously, Town Manager Gayle Corrigan was testifying in court that she had lost confidence in McGillivray, who has served as chief since 2013.

The Town Council was going to discuss McGillivray’s job performance at their Sept. 25 meeting but that item was removed from the agenda without comment.

Town officials did not comment on Aiken’s involvement. It follows the engagement of attorney Tim Cavazza to consult with the town on legal issues. Both North Kingstown and Providence have used Cavazza to represent them in legal battles against their firefighters, in particular in the effort to move the fire departments in those communities from four platoons to three.

Cavazza is a partner in the Providence law firm Whelan, Corrente, Flanders, Kinder and Siket, LLP. Robert Corrente, a partner in the law firm, worked with Aiken on the Cianci case during his tenure as Rhode Island’s U.S. Attorney.

It was Bob Flanders, another partner, who introduced Corrigan to Town Council President Sue Cienki, after which the Town Council hired Corrigan’s firm, Providence Analytics, to complete a review of school and town finances last spring. That was followed by the departure of former Town Manager Tom Coyle in June and the naming of Corrigan to that post. Within 10 days, Corrigan’s Providence Analytics partner, Linda Dykeman, was given the job of town finance director.

McGillivray declined to comment. Aiken also declined to comment.

Aiken spent 34 years with the FBI. He gained a bit of celebrity this past year when he participated in the popular “Crimetown” podcast, which spent its first season looking at Providence and its history of organized crime and corruption.

– Elizabeth F. McNamara

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