April 19, 2018

Council Suspends City Manager Tim Chapman in 3-2 Decision

Botelho, Faria, Sousa Vote to Fire. Britto, Briden Oppose.

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The East Providence City Council voted at its March 28, 2018 meeting to suspend, with the intention of firing, City Manager Timothy Chapman. With little to no discussion, the council approved Ward Two councilwoman Anna Sousa's agenda request to dismiss Chapman. Joining Sousa was Ward Three Councilman Joe Botelho and Ward Four Councilman Brian Faria. Voting against the firing was Mayor and at-large councilman James Briden and Ward One councilman Robert Britto.

"In my three years on this council, this has been the second attempt to fire Tim Chapman. I wish there was another way. We are fixing roads, talking about a new high school, there is waterfront development. Mr. Chapman has done a very good job," said Britto.

"I'm not in favor of this," said Mayor Briden. Tim has done an excellent job and has received high praise from this council before."

"From my point of view, this city is about to enter one of its most important times in our government with the election of a Mayor," said Joseph Botelho. "There are important decisions and we need to make sure the new Mayor succeeds. We need to support a transition," he added.

For her part as the resolution's (to suspend) sponsor, Anna Sousa said, "I have nothing to say now, if Mr. Chapman asks for a public hearing, you will all hear things at that time."

Current Finance Director, Malcolm Moore was appointed Acting City Manager and will also keep his role as Director of all city finances. Moore and Chapman have clashed in the recent past.

This marks another in a long line of City Managers fired by a city council in East Providence. Richard Brown, Peter Graczykowski, Richard Kirby, Bill Fazioli and Paul Lemont are some of the managers let go in the recent past. Fazioli wasn't fired but left at the conclusion of his contract with rumors that he wasn't being appropriately supported by the council. Lemont, twice, wasn't renewed as manager, although he wanted to stay on. A first-ever elected Mayor will take office in November, 2018.

After the vote to fire Chapman, the deposed Manager left the room to sustained applause from a couple dozen supporters. One resident leapt to his feet from the front row and screamed out at the council, "embarrassment, you're an embarrassment to this city," as he and others stormed out of the meeting.

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