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Mayor confirms federal investigation underway at Warwick City Hall

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WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Warwick Mayor Joseph Solomon confirmed Monday that a federal investigation involving city government is underway.

“Federal inquiries have been made in City Hall,” Solomon told Target 12, adding that he was not interviewed by investigators.

Solomon said he could not comment on what is being investigated, but emphasized it does not involve his administration.

Solomon, the former City Council president, became acting mayor last spring after Scott Avedisian stepped down to take over as CEO of RIPTA.

In November, Solomon was voted into office, defeating Republican Sue Stenhouse in the general election.

Avedisian, who had served as mayor since 2000, told Target 12 he has not been interviewed by federal investigators and has “not heard anything” about an investigation involving his administration.

“If there was a question, I think someone would’ve called me by now,” Avedisian added.

Avedesian did note he read media reports about the city’s fire department contract, and the council’s investigation into possible cost overruns involving unused sick time bonuses.

When asked by Target 12 about the federal inquiries, Michael Carreiro, president of Warwick firefighters’ Local 2748, said the union “is always willing to help and cooperate in expediting this process.”

“I am pretty confident that there will not be any findings, to get this behind us,” Carreiro said.

FBI Public Affairs Officer Kristen Setera offered a standard response to an email question about the investigation from Target 12.

“In keeping with DOJ policy, the FBI cannot confirm or deny the existence of an investigation,” Setera said, referring to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Solomon said he did not now how many people have been interviewed, or when anyone was questioned. 

“Until [the investigation] is complete, I cannot comment any further,” the mayor said.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau.

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