Robert Urciuoli, a former Rhode Island hospital executive who was found guilty this month of buying the influence of a state senator, has asked a federal judge to find that the jury was wrong to convict him. Urciuoli, who was president and chief executive officer of Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, R.I. was convicted Oct. 6 following a second trial on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy.
In a memorandum filed Oct. 15, Urciuolis attorneys argued as they did at trial that the hospitals employment of then-state Sen. John Celona was for the legal and legitimate purpose of promoting the services of the hospital and its affiliated senior home, the Village at Elmhurst, and that the hospital and Celona sought and received favorable reviews of their contract from Roger Williams outside counsel and the state Legislatures ethics commission.
To accept the jurys conclusion, the memorandum argues, the judge would have to accept the misleading, unsupported and legally unsupportable inferences suggested by the prosecution, and ignore the uncontested record establishing that Mr. Urciuoli never asked or intended that former Sen. Celona deviate from the honest performance of his duties.
Urciuolis 2006 conviction on the same charges was overturned on appeal. Frances Driscoll, who was a senior vice president at Roger Williams, had been found guilty of aiding in the conspiracy but was acquitted after the retrial. Urciuoli is scheduled to be sentenced March 6, 2009. -- by Gregg Blesch