AP reporter wins $300 for exposing former Providence mayor’s bogus charity claims

Associated Press Rhode Island correspondent Michelle Smith‘s eyebrow was raised over former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci’s claim that sales of his “Mayor’s Own Marinara Sauce” benefit the city’s school kids.

An AP memo reports:

Smith dug into the charitable claims and discovered in recent years that in truth, no money from the sauce’s sales had been donated to Cianci’s charity scholarship fund. And from 2009 to 2012, the sauce made a total of $3 in income. …

A day after the sauce story, Smith followed up with an examination of Cianci’s charity’s finances, finding it gives just a small fraction of assets out in scholarships every year, and spends most of its money on expenses other than for kids.

The AP’s Brian Carovillano writes: “For hitting the sauce in a way that made AP proud, Smith wins this week’s $300 Best of the States prize.

* Stirring the sauce for a spicy story (ap.org)
* Cianci sauce made no money for charity in four years (ap.org)