Woonsocket mayor responds to new allegations of nepotism

Woonsocket mayor responds to new allegations of nepotism

WOONSOCKET – It's been less than a month since Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt had a complaint filed against her with the state Ethics Commission for hiring her son for a summer jobs program, and the mayor is answering to new criticism over another city position held by her nephew.

23-year-old Tyler Driscoll of Cumberland was hired as a temporary laborer by the Public Works Director in September, according to a press release this week from the mayor's office. Driscoll, Baldelli-Hunt's nephew by marriage, has since applied for a more permanent position as a utility worker in the same department.

The issue came to light this week in a report by Jim Hummel. Hummel documents his attempts to speak with the mayor about the hire after a press conference held on Oct. 30. In the video, Baldelli-Hunt refuses to speak with the reporter and tells him to make an appointment with her secretary. It can be viewed here.

According to Hummel, a meeting between the two was scheduled for nine days later, but was later canceled by the mayor.

After the video was published online on Thursday, the mayor released a statement.

"I was not involved in the hiring for this temporary position nor do I exercise any direct supervision, authority or input over his compensation or job duties," Baldelli-Hunt said. "As of this date, he remains a temporary employee and has not been hired as a permanent employee of the city of Woonsocket."

The mayor said she is in the process of seeking an opinion from the Ethics Commission as to whether or not it would be appropriate to hire Driscoll permanently.

Hummel also reported on Driscoll's criminal history, which includes two counts of first-degree sexual assault, filed in August of 2011 by the Johnston Police Department. Police say Driscoll sexually assaulted two girls, ages 15 and 16, after giving them alcohol. He reportedly met the girls over Facebook. The charges were later reduced to misdemeanor assaults.

While on probation, Driscoll again had trouble with the law in West Warwick in August of last year, for allegedly procuring alcohol for a minor.

The Ethics Commission has yet to rule on the compliant filed by former City Council President John Ward regarding the hiring of Baldelli-Hunt's son and members of his baseball team for an unadvertised summer jobs program. The mayor has reportedly offered to pay the commission $880 – the amount her son was paid for cleaning city streets and sidewalks over the summer – to settle the complaint.


I am less concerned that he is related by marriage to the mayor, than the fact that he seems to be a sexual predator, against children..(underage girls are children). That raises a huge red flag.

Don't miss the 2011 Warwick Beacon article about this guy.

The Woonsocket Call ended its article about this recent charge of nepotism with this additional info:
"Driscoll isn’t the only member of the Baldelli-Hunt clan on the city’s payroll. John Baldelli, also a laborer, has worked for the city since 1989 and was hired during the administration of former Mayor Charles Baldelli, uncle to the sitting mayor."

The mayor doesn't get it. She tried to hide the facts and then made excuses for the wrongful hires. Everyone knows you cannot hire your son and other relatives when you are in charge of municipal affairs. No CORI check for Mr. Driscoll? No advertising for her son's buddies on the baseball team? Now she wants to settle the matter with repaying the wages her son received. What about the wages for his buddies when they were hired in a shady way. She better smarten up quick or she will either be voted out of office or land herself in court as a defendant in a government corruption trial. Just my opinion.


IT WAS THE BID RIGGING AND THE CASH LEFT AT Walt's Roast Beef in the dumpster in Cranston.

DiPrete and Azar saw time and Brien Saurault received significant time served and other punishment.

Lisa, unfortunately for Woonsocket, you're not any different from these three convicted public officials.

Their arrogance and ignorance were their downfall.

Kind of like you Lisa, right now.

You break the rules for hiring and purchases. In doing so, you appear to be committing felony level conversion crimes. At some point, the RISP FCU and AG staff members will start to examine your dishonesty and crimes. Then, a grand jury may convene and produce news headlining indictments.

And Nepotism. Would the dynamics be based on your ignorance, lack of management control or do you simply adore breaking the law?

The State, the region, and the entire country perceives that our City is still flourishing in the medieval times of the late 1400's.

As a result of your hipacracy, by indulging in your family hiring, the people of the City of Woonsocket, already with the lowest possible level of community self esteem, have been ridiculed even more, and made fun of on state and national TV.

Are these actual and potential chain of events, which are solely your fault, just one more huge example of your twisted form of leadership?

All because of your arrogance and ignorance. What a waste of a valuable opportunity for both the City and you. Keep up this bad stuff. You'll be escorted out of City Hall with handcuffs and a vibrant recall election in your wake.

Might it be 2015 or 2016?

Isabelle Coutu,
Concerned resident

If she cuts taxes all we be forgotten. Focus financially and win. Sadly, i don't see this happening. She could very well be a one-term mayor.

With his record, Driscoll wouldn't be able to land a decent job anywhere in private industry so the Mayor stepped in and found him one. This was a family insider discussion and decision. Simple as that.

In my opinion, she is actually a smart woman who could do good in Woonsocket - but her family are thugs - can she distance herself from her uncle Charlie, brother Rocky and family friend R. Lepine.? All are after (small time) power that will ultimately undermine her.