The chief executive officer at 143-bed Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, R.I., denied allegations that he bribed a former lawmaker to influence state legislative decisions. CEO Robert Urciuoli, who has been on paid administrative leave since last month, was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on conspiracy and 36 counts of mail fraud. The hospital itself and the former president of an assisted-living facility affiliated with the hospital also were charged with one count of conspiracy and 36 counts of mail fraud. A former senior vice president of public relations and development who left Roger Williams in 2000 was charged with conspiracy and one count of mail fraud. Urciuoli and Roger Williams have maintained that the hospital and then-state Sen. John Celona had a legitimate consulting contract appropriately reviewed by ethics committees. Celona, who is cooperating with the federal investigation, pleaded guilty in June 2005 to accepting bribes from healthcare companies. Urciuoli's attorney, Robert Flanders Jr., said Celona implicated Urciuoli in hopes of obtaining a more lenient sentence. -- by Joseph Mantone
R.I. hospital CEO denies he bribed former legislator
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