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A Hummel Report Investigation

Divided Loyalty

Last week we reported the city of Woonsocket had temporarily suspended the liquor license of a troubled neighborhood bar. This week, Rick’s Bar and Grille has a new full-time manager brought in to help clean up the problems: a Woonsocket city council member who doubles as a member of the city’s licensing board. He tells The Hummel Report he does not see it as a conflict of interest.

Click here to view the original report on Rick's Bar and Grille.

SCRIPT

Three weeks after having his license suspended for the 4th of July weekend, the owner of Rick’s Bar and Grille was back before the Woonsocket licensing board  Monday night. The board wanted to know why Richard Dias had not followed restrictions it placed on him at the last hearing - specifically to have a police detail officer at the bar Friday and Saturday nights.
The city council, sitting as the licensing board, was missing a voting member on Monday night: Councilman Roger Jalette, who had recused himself and instead was sitting in the audience between Dias and his mother.
That’s because Jalette, who voted for the suspension on June 29th - began a job this week as the new full-time manager…at Rick’s Bar and Grille.
Jalette: ``I’ve known the family for quite a long time. They’ve been in the city quite a while, they’ve had other businesses, they’ve been a good taxpayer in the city of Woonsocket.’’
Jalette, who recused himself from Monday night’s proceeding, told us in an interview over the weekend at his house that the job was solidified with Dias last week.
Hummel: ``How did it come about then? Did he approach you or did yo approach him?’’
Jalette: ``He called me and he asked for my advice, he was at his wit’s end. He doesn’t know what to do. He makes his living there and so I’m an elder, they say with age comes wisdom, he’s tapping on that I think, and the fact that we were were friends. He trusts me.’’

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