FBI: Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, Jr.

Philip Eil filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # 1347765-000
Status
Completed

Crowdfund Request: FBI: Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, Jr.

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Update: After starting this fundraising campaign yesterday, I learned of at least two potential scenarios in which Buddy Cianci’s FBI could be released for free. Of course, I don’t want to pay for a file that can be released, at no charge - and I especially don’t want to pay for a potentially-free file with crowdfunded money.

As a result of this new information, the crowdfunding campaign has been paused and all contributors - including me - will receive refunds. Stay tuned for updates on my work toward getting Cianci’s FBI released, with no charge.

Buddy Cianci, who passed away in January, was the longest serving mayor in Providence history. He was also a two-time convict.

Help me release the final chapter in the story of Rhode Island’s legendary “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” politician.

Backed by Philip Eil, Michael Steiner, Matt Coupe, nico muhly, and 15 others.

$1,019.22 raised out of $1,978.00.

This crowdfund has ended.

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Communications

From: Philip Eil

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

A copy of FBI files on Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, Jr., former mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, whose death was widely reported in the media on January 28, 2016.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Philip Eil

From: Mcguinn, Lauren S. (RMD) (FBI)

Dear Mr. Eli,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov<http://www.fbi.gov>/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/<http://www.fbi.goiv/foia/>. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

Thank you,

Lauren McGuinn
Public Liaison/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail: foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>
Questions E-mail: foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>

Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at http://www.fbi.gov/foia

Please check the status of your request online at http://www.fbi.gov/foia by clicking on the CHECK STATUS OF YOUR FOI/PA REQUEST under the FOIA INDEX located on the right side of the page. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

From: Philip Eil

Hello, Ms. McGuinn.

I'm writing to follow up on my January 28, 2016 FOIA request for a copy of FBI files on Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, Jr., former mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, whose death was widely reported in the media on the day I made the request.

Specifically, I am requesting an estimated completion date for the fulfillment of this request. As I'm sure you know, requesters are legally entitled to such estimates.

Thank you,

Phil Eil

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Dear Mr. Eil,

The request was received on 04-05-2016 (actual date request was scanned into the FOIPA Document Processing System) and assigned FOIPA Request Number #1347765-000. The request is presently in Initial Processing, where the assigned analyst is searching for, retrieving and reviewing potentially responsive records. If appropriate, correspondence regarding the request and search results will be forthcoming.

Estimated dates of completion are based on the median processing time of complex requests (large processing track). Accordingly, the estimated on which the FBI will complete action on your request is 475 days from the date of your request.

Please check the status of your request online at http://www.fbi.gov/foia by clicking on the CHECK STATUS OF YOUR FOI/PA REQUEST under the FOIA INDEX located on the right side of the page. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov<http://www.fbi.gov>/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

Thank you,

Holly Early
Public Liaison/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4854
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail: foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>
Questions E-mail: foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>

Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at http://www.fbi.gov/foia

Please check the status of your request online at http://www.fbi.gov/foia by clicking on the CHECK STATUS OF YOUR FOI/PA REQUEST under the FOIA INDEX located on the right side of the page. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A letter stating the requester must agree to or prepay assessed or estimated fees in order for the agency to continue processing the request.

From: Philip Eil

Hello,

I am writing to request a fee waiver for this FOIA request (FOIPA Request Number #1347765-000.

There are three main reasons for this.

First, Buddy Cianci was a figure of enormous public significance - as a politician, celebrity, and convicted felon - who attracted an extraordinary amount of interest in his lifetime. There remains, after his death, a significant public interest in the contents of his FBI file

Cianci — who was mayor of Providence from 1975 to 1984, then from 1991 to 2002 — is one of the most noteworthy figures in the city’s 380-year history. No one did more to rouse the city from its late 20th-century post-industrial doldrums. And no one did more to solidify the city’s reputation as a hotbed of corruption.

Through it all, Cianci — who was a successful TV and talk-radio host when he wasn’t in public office or prison — remained one of most colorful figures in American politics. He was the subject of two books (Mike Stanton’s The Prince of Providence and Cianci’s memoir, Politics and Pasta), a feature-length documentary, countless articles), and one off-off-Broadway musical. When he died, the New York Times’s Dan Barry wrote, “Although Mr. Cianci had not been mayor since his federal conviction for racketeering in 2002, the shadow he cast over the city for 40 years is difficult to overstate.” The amount of coverage of Cianci’s death - in the Times, Gawker, Rolling Stone, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and a long list of other outlets - is a testament to the enduring and widespread interest in him. Cianci’s FBI file is an unseen chapter of his story that promises not only to reveal valuable information about his much-discussed life and political career, but also offer insight on the history of the city of Providence, during the years he served as mayor.

Second, since Cianci was the subject of a lengthy FBI investigation, the release of these materials would shine significant light on the FBI’s activity in the years leading up to his conviction. A 27-count indictment of an acting mayor doesn’t materialize out of thin air; it happens only after government agents and employees toil for years, behind the scenes, to investigate and gather evidence. The general public - in particular, the more than 175,000 citizens of Providence - ought to be able to see the government activity that led to the indictment, and incarceration, of Providence's longest-serving mayor.

Third, the case for opening this file, free of charge, takes on even more urgency in light of the criticism that has been levied against the FBI investigation of Cianci. When Cianci died, New Yorker writer Philip Gourevitch (who wrote a lengthy report on the corruption trial that sent Cianci to prison), wrote, “[T]he case against Cianci was a shabby business—a mess of small-time graft charges brought together and pinned on him under the auspices of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, which was designed to take down organized-crime godfathers by holding them accountable for the acts of flunkies—even, or especially, when no direct evidence could be found linking the boss to any misdeed.”

“[I]n the courtroom,” Gourevitch continued, “day after day for week upon week of that hot, humid Rhode Island summer, it was obvious that the government had no hope of making a single charge stick to Cianci….One couldn’t escape the feeling that the government’s case against him was as corrupt as anything he or his crooked cronies were charged with.”

Because of the substantial public interest in Buddy Cianci, both while he lived and after he died; because of the enormous amount of government investigative activity that went into indicting him; and because of high-profile criticism of that investigative activity from a respected news outlet, there is ample reason to waive the fees for this file, and release them as soon as possible.

As a member of the news media, I have plans to disseminate this information as widely and freely as possible, once it is released, so that the large number of curious citizens awaiting its release may benefit and learn from it.

Thank you.

-Philip Eil

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Dear Mr. Eil,

The FBI has received your additional correspondence regarding your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it has been forwarded to the assigned analyst for review. If appropriate, a response will be forthcoming.

Additional information regarding the FOIPA may be accessed at http://www.fbi.gov/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/.

If you require additional assistance please contact me.

Thank you,

Holly Early
Public Liaison/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4854
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail: foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>
Questions E-mail: foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>

Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at http://www.fbi.gov/foia

Please check the status of your request online at http://www.fbi.gov/foia by clicking on the CHECK STATUS OF YOUR FOI/PA REQUEST under the FOIA INDEX located on the right side of the page. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Dear Mr. Eil,

Please check the status of your FOIPA Request at http://www.fbi.gov and access the (Freedom of Information Act) link at the bottom of the page, or http://www.fbi.gov/foia, or https://vault.fbi.gov/fdps-1/@@search-fdps, and follow the instructions below.

Check the Status of Your FOIPA Request

If your FOIPA Number is [1195846-0] please enter [1195846-000] into the system. If your FOIPA Number is [1195846-1] please enter [1195846-001] into the system. If you have any questions about the status of your FOIPA request, please e-mail foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>.

FIND STATUS OF FOIPA- LAST UPDATED ON June 15, 2016

Please enter the whole FOIPA number-Example: [1234567-000]

FOIPA:

Results will show the Request Number, Case Type and Process Description shown below:

FOIPA:

1234567-000

Case Type:

FOIPA

Process Description (Will display the current progress of the request)

The FBI’s FOIPA Program is searching the FBI’s indices for potentially responsive documents.

You may be contacted via formal letter for all fees and/or negotiation issues that may apply.
NOTE: Recent requests are entered into the FOIPA database in the order that they are received. Before you can check the status, you must have received correspondence assigning a FOIPA request number and the information transferred to the online database. Status information is updated weekly. If a request has been closed within the last six months the online database will display the following: The FOIPA number entered has been closed, and appropriate correspondence has been sent to the address on file.

Thank you,

Holly Early
Public Liaison/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4854
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail: foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>
Questions E-mail: foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>

Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at http://www.fbi.gov/foia

Please check the status of your request online at http://www.fbi.gov/foia by clicking on the CHECK STATUS OF YOUR FOI/PA REQUEST under the FOIA INDEX located on the right side of the page. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Good morning Mr. Eil,

I'm contacting you about the FOIA request you made for records concerning Vince Cianci. As you probably recall, the FBI located approximately 57,328 pages that are potentially responsive to your request. I just wanted to let you know about the potential waiting time for a request of this size. Once requests go over a certain size, usually in the 50-100 page range, they become increasingly complex, greatly slowing down the time required for processing. Generally the larger the file, the longer it takes to process. Given our current workload and staffing levels, it may be a very long time before you would begin to receive material from this request.
We contact folks with requests of this size to see if there might be a way to possibly narrow the scope of the request. Is this something you might be willing to consider? I can help you decide how to reduce the scope. We can narrow the request by date, or if you are looking for something specific, we can approach it that way.
Please let me know how you would like to proceed. I can be reached at 540-868-1695<tel:540-868-1695>, Monday - Friday from 7:00 am until 3:30 pm, Eastern time, or you can reply to this email if you prefer.
Thanks much,
Becki

Rebecca Bronson
Records Management Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
540-868-1695

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Good morning Mr. Eil,

Hadn't heard back and was just following up.
Best,
Becki

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Good morning Mr. Eil,

I checked the status of your request and it is still waiting to be assigned to an analyst.
Best,
Becki

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Good morning Mr. Eil,
I checked the status of your request and it is still waiting to be assigned to an analyst.
Best,
Becki

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Good morning Mr. Eil,

The analyst advises that it will likely be January before she begins processing your request. Thanks again for your patience.
Best,
Becki

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Good morning Mr. Eil,

The analyst informs me that she is working on the first release currently and expects to have it ready sometime in January. Thanks again for your patience with the process; we really appreciate it.
Best,
Becki

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Good morning Mr. Eil,

The release went into the mail on January 27, so you should have it any day now.
Best,
Becki

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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