Love is never having to say I’m sorry

It was a harbinger that Ali McGraw’s character, a resident of Cranston in “Love Story”, opined that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”. Who would have thought that years later this 1970 quote would apparently be the guideline of Rhode Island’s quasi-public agencies and the state that continue to hire the same alleged miscreants that they sued. Take the most recent examples, i.e. the retention of First Southwest and the law firm of Moses Afonso and Ryan, the latter of whom offered to settle a lawsuit for $4.37 million for its role in the 38 Studios debacle. These entities are still in the bond business and advising the state and its bonding entities.
Mind you, in the complaint against these “advisors” for the then Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), the state asserted many nasty things against both of them. Accusations flew that they did not engage in fair dealing with their client (RIEDC). These “dastardly” perpetrators were accused of making false statements and representations in documents filed or required to be filed. They also, it was averred, gave their client (RIEDC) false, erroneous or defective statements, knowingly intended to deceive their client, breached their respective fiduciary duty, and concealed material facts. Apparently, there is a lot of love to go around since as late as March 31, 2014, the latest reporting period online, the law firm is still on the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation payroll and First Southwest is still advising on bonds.
Can you imagine if your boss accused you of such behavior? How long do you think you’d remain on your company’s payroll? If you offered a settlement or none (First Southwest has not) which was a mere pittance toward the amount your employer lost because of your shenanigans would he be so forgiving? If not, it probably wouldn’t be because he  didn’t see “Love Story”.
This state looks absolutely foolish to outsiders who have to scratch their heads as to why there is such a love fest in Rhode Island for wrongdoers. The kind of behavior asserted against the instant lawyers would be before the Disciplinary Committee before anybody could utter “Perry Mason”. Query whether any referral will even  be made to the disciplinary board. Apparently not, since there is too much love to go around and, after all, it wasn’t the principals’  money involved — only yours, dear taxpayers.
If anyone else had a client who accused him or her of deceiving them, manipulating agendas, withholding or concealing key information etc., you can be sure that their days would be numbered before the Bar. Not only will the state allow this behavior to skate, but the government here actually rewards negative behaviors. First Southwest should be answering to a higher regulatory authority rather than “making up” with the governor and treasurer.
Much has been made of a former two-time felon running for mayor of Providence. The very same attitude of forgiveness plagues the entire state.  You forget for 4 years to report a loan to Representative Gordon Fox when you were a lobbyist then it’s just ok to file belatedly and walk away from any punishment with an “oops’.
The state is pathetic. But then again, it’s in love.


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