NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — Camp Cronin, a property owned by the city of Providence valued at more than $1 million, was sold at a tax auction last fall, according to documents obtained by 12 News.

The ocean-front property was once used for summer camps and day trips for children and elderly people, but it’s sat unused for years.

On Oct. 31, 2022, the camp was apparently auctioned off to Airway Leasing LLC, a company owned by Gerard DiSanto, who also owns Club Desire, a gentleman’s club in Providence.

The tax deed for the property also revealed the city owed nearly $17,000 in unpaid taxes, as first reported by The Providence Journal.

Nick Hemond, the lawyer representing Airway Leasing, told 12 News that while DiSanto could take over the property if Providence doesn’t take action within a year of the sale, he had no intention of doing so.

During a live interview Wednesday on 12 News at 4, Providence Mayor Brett Smiley said it won’t matter either way since the city has cleared up the matter.

“We have paid all of the outstanding taxes to the town of Narragansett,” he said. “Narragansett needs to go through the process now to pay back the person who bought the tax lien.”

Smiley called it a misunderstanding, saying the property tax bills were mailed to the city’s recreation department and the “previous administration either didn’t receive them or missed them.”

“Nevertheless, the town of Narragansett knows to mail the tax bill to the finance department at city hall,” Smiley added. “We’ve paid all of our back taxes, and the city is at no risk of losing the facility.”

A 12 News review of campaign finance records shows DiSanto has contributed $4,000 to Smiley’s political campaign since 2020, the maximum amount allowed under the law.