Lombardi fires Arlia, former assistant to Mollis

Lombardi fires Arlia, former assistant to Mollis

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Sherry Arlia, a veteran town employee who previously worked for former Mayor A. Ralph Mollis as administrative assistant and would later campaign for Mollis' chosen successor, John Sisto, has been fired.

Mayor Charles Lombardi confirmed that he fired Arlia, who has served in a number of capacities within the town's employment ranks, most recently as acting recreation director.

"It's a personnel matter, so I'm not going to comment any further," said Lombardi. "I want to thank her for her years of service to the town."

Lombardi, who beat Sisto in a special election back in 2007, originally decided to keep Arlia despite her extensive support for his opponents.

"If we wanted to come into this administration as strictly politicians and put our political hat on and be vindictive, then (Arlia) would have been terminated," the mayor told The Breeze back in 2007, shortly after coming into office.

When Lombardi first came into office, he decided to pay Arlia as a full-time director through a "A Community That Cares" Drug Free Communities Grant. The funding for that renewable grant ran out two years ago.

Arlia, who answered phones in Lombardi's office for several years, said in a written message to The Breeze that she was "shocked and very distraught" about the firing and thus unable to "discuss or make any comments at this time."