Cranston City Council gets message from RI ACLU

Strong words from ACLU to Cranston City Council. Overreach must be addressed. Meeting TODAY.

The Cranston City Council meeting set for TODAY, Tuesday, May 28th at 7pm will consider the matter of the resignation of Councilwoman Aniece Germain (and the appointment of Kristen Haroian to fill her position) and the process of how that resignation occurred.

The item on the agenda is as follows:

The full agenda is here – – Click on docket. The meeting is open to the public as well as carried on ZOOM and YouTube. Specifics are at the link.

The Council matter comes in response to a letter received by the RI ACLU Executive Director Steven Brown.

The RI State Police have also been asked to investigate the situation, and at this time that investigation has not been completed.

Nicole Renzulli, Cranston City Council member who requested the issue be put on the agenda said in a statement to RINewsToday: “I have repeatedly raised concerns about Councilwoman Aniece Germain’s resignation as it relates to the council’s investigatory powers and at the April council meeting I was silenced by a roll call without receiving any real answers. I refuse to sit down and shut up just because I don’t have the gavel or the majority. Frankly, I’m unsure why more of my colleagues are not demanding answers here because facts matter and this issue could potentially affect every one of us at some point– council members, board and commission members, and City of Cranston employees. The public has a right to transparency, and it’s our duty to address these issues openly. I applaud Director Steven Brown and the ACLU for urging an open discussion to clarify ‘official conduct’ and the limits of the city council’s investigatory powers. This is discussion is crucial for maintaining the council’s integrity and upholding transparency and accountability as we attempt to move forward from this unfortunate situation.”

Aniece Germain resigned her position at the Cranston City Council in response to her perceived threat of a public investigation of the issue with the nonprofit she founded, Hope and Change for Haiti. Almost immediately after Germain’s resignation, at the next Council meeting, Kristen Haroian was appointed to complete her term. Haroian was an announced candidate to challenge Germain in a primary for that position.

RINewsToday wrote several articles – included documents from Germain. Follow the issue at the articles, below:

This is a developing story.

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  1. […] Strong words from ACLU to Cranston City Council. Overreach must be addressed. Meeting TODAY. Former Cranston City Councilor Aniece Germain says let the “truth be told” on her resignation The trauma of Haiti – Aniece Germain offers hope for Haiti from Rhode Island Update: Complaint spurs Cranston officials to call in RI State Police to investigate City Council issue Cranston Councilor Germain’s resignation charges get swift response, call for investigation Sign up HERE for RINewsToday’s daily newsletter Posted in Politics Share on Twitter Share Share on Facebook Share Share on Linkedin Share […]

  2. Lesley M on May 29, 2024 at 2:24 pm

    Having watched last night’s Council meeting via Zoom, every Council member except for Ms. Renzulli, cringed at the mention of the ACLU or Ms. Germain. Per Ms. Germain in other prints, the paperwork was fouled up. I can’t address that since I don’t know. What I do know is that Ms. Germain never mixed the two. Per last night’s meeting, Ms. Marino said something to the effect that Ms. Germain had approached other members about donations. If so, how is that wrong? These council members were her co-workers. Most of us have done or contributed the same exact way. We’ve asked co-workers to buy candy bars or wrapping paper for their kids’ school, group, or club. There usually isn’t any carte blanche announcement to the entire workforce but it’s done individually or through word of mouth. I don’t recall any public meeting where Ms. Germain asked for any donation to H&C.
    Since Ms. Marino was either approached or knew about it, why, as Chairperson, didn’t she tell Ms. Germain that it just wasn’t “done.” Why let it continue? Why didn’t the Chairperson do her job to start with?
    This investigation of powers is ridiculous. It’s a waste of time, manpower, and taxpayer $$$. Common sense should have nipped this in the bud. This should never have become an issue. There are more important things that need addressing. It was handled poorly from Day One.
    The lawyers don’t know or understand the Charter either. Why are we paying them?

  3. Lesley M on May 28, 2024 at 2:04 pm

    I watch the City Council meetings. Although I am no longer on FB or other social media, Ms. Germain has never brought up or mentioned Hope & Change in her position as a Council representative of the City of Cranston and Ward 2.
    Hope & Change was treated as a totally separate entity. It was never under discussion in any of her missives to the residents of Ward 2. Ms. Germain never crossed that line.
    As a council member, she has worked very diligently for the City and the residents of Ward 2. She is quick to respond and somehow, despite the Administration’s constant roadblocks, manages to get things done.
    This lady is being treated unfairly. Had she put up a GoFundMe, nobody would have questioned it. Hope & Change was above board, had its certificates but would the Council have bothered to investigate a GoFundMe? Someone within the confines of the City went on their own ‘investigation’.
    We actually had someone who represented Ward 2 for a change. Shameful.

    • Nancy Thomas on May 28, 2024 at 2:52 pm

      The details of the foundation, per the ACLU, are not the issue – what is is the investigative powers of the Council where it does not have authority to do so. In the last FY, there have been over 200 RI nonprofits that have lost their 501 c 3 – mostly due to paperwork problems, or the nonprofits going in and out of business quickly, changing direction, etc. We will be following up with an article on this as well.

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