[Editor’s Note: AuxBeacon has been investigating this story for several weeks, but this article is now out for public consideration.]
WEST WARWICK — Following the decision to allow him to run opposite incumbent Angelo Padula for West Warwick’s Ward 1 Town Council seat, Will Stranahan issued a release questioning Padula’s eligibility based on a since-expunged conviction during the 1980’s.
Stranahan commented on his zeal for transparency in government, accusing Padula of hiding facts from the public. In the hearings that followed, Padula was ruled eligible to serve and the former Democrat prepared to run once again against an opponent from his former party.
Now, Padula is hitting back. “He wanted to talk about transparency then, but now I hear he’s not saying anything,” Padula said of his opponent.
He is alleging that [Lt Col] Stranahan, an officer [Rhode Island Wing Vice Commander] in the local Civil Air Patrol, has been suspended from his duties as a result of a pending state police investigation into allegations of misconduct with a female cadet. Padula said has letters from cadets saying as much, and his allegations were corroborated by Rob Cote, a former CAP officer who admitted he “had an axe to grind,” against the organization.
Stranahan did not return calls seeking comment on the allegations, and Rhode Island Wing Director of Recruiting & Retention First Lieutenant Bob Gubala would only confirm that the Civil Air Patrol had suspended someone from its ranks due to a pending investigation.
“I am not at liberty to divulge any personally identifiable information,” Gubala said when reached for comment. “I have through my sources in the Civil Air Patrol all the way up to national, that Stranahan is the one that was suspended,” Cote countered yesterday.
Some affiliated with the Civil Air Patrol are countering the allegations against Stranahan by alleging that those allegations are in fact a fabrication. Padula, meanwhile, was calling out his former party.
“The Democratic Party for the last 3 Elections endorsed 3 individuals to run against me,” he said. “One allegedly was accused of domestic assault on a woman, another one left the state less than 2 weeks after the election, and my opponent this election allegedly suspended from the Civil Air Patrol For allegedly inappropriate behavior with a girl,” he e-mailed the Daily Times.