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Jury impaneled to probe Providence graft charges

Twenty-three grand jurors took oaths Monday to devote up to a year and a half investigating reports of kickbacks, theft, organized-crime ties, and other abuses in the city's government.

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''We will get to the bottom of corruption in Providence,'' state Attorney General Dennis J. Roberts II said on the courthouse steps after the statewide jury's impaneling.

Last month, a federal grand jury indicted three city Public Works Department employees, including the highway department director, Edward Melise, for allegedly taking kickbacks from contractors that plowed the city's streets. In addition, the federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents from a federally funded summer lunch program for poor children.

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