NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A third North Providence councilman accused of corruption resigned yesterday, more than a week after being charged with sharing in a $25,000 bribe.
A resignation letter from Raymond Douglas III addressed to Mayor Charles Lombardi and Mansuet Giusti, the new president of the town council, says he believed he could continue to sit as a productive member of the council, but recognized that his presence was a distraction.
“By resigning, I hope the town can get back to conducting business without having to focus on recent allegations brought against me,’’ he wrote.
Douglas had taken a leave from the council after he; the council’s president, Joseph Burchfield; and Councilman John Zambarano were charged on May 6 with taking a bribe from a developer who wanted a zoning change to build a supermarket. All three remain free on unsecured bond.
Burchfield and Zambarano have also resigned, and a special election will be required to fill the empty seats on the seven-member council. In his letter, Douglas said he hoped to minimize the cost to the town by avoiding a second special election.
Earlier this week, Douglas withdrew his request to take a vacation to South Carolina over Memorial Day weekend. Federal prosecutors had opposed the request.