Metro

Former owner of Shark arraigned in bribery case

After pleading not guilty to bribery, Raymond Hugh has bail set at $50,000, with next court date Jan. 19

By
Staff Writer
Thursday, November 19, 2015

Raymond Hugh, the former owner of Shark Bar and Grille on Thayer Street, was arraigned Wednesday and is required to stay within Rhode Island and Massachusetts as he awaits his next hearing, which is scheduled for Jan. 19.

Former owner of Shark Bar and Grille on Thayer Street, Raymond Hugh, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of bribery of a public official. Hugh was indicted by a grand jury Oct. 30.

Gordon Fox, Rhode Island’s former Speaker of the House, pleaded guilty to charges of accepting bribes March 3, The Herald previously reported. Court documents from Fox’s case claimed that Hugh and the other two co-owners of Shark, Bahij Boutros and Joseph Dalomba, bribed Fox with $52,500 while he served as vice chair of the Providence Board of Licenses in 2008.  The board approved the license in a 3-0 vote against the objections of the University and owners of other Thayer Street businesses.

The charges claim $52,500 in bribes, despite the fact that the Providence Journal reported the bribe amount as $35,000, said State Police Colonel Steven O’Donnell.

R.I. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and O’Donnell issued a statement Oct. 30 that alleges the bribery occurred “on or about dates between Aug. 13, 2008 and Sept. 5, 2008.”

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lisi accepted Fox’s plea deal for a three-year prison sentence, and he began serving his time at United States Penitentiary, Canaan, in Waymart, Pennsylvania, The Herald previously reported.

The investigation into Fox’s bribery by federal prosecutors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state police provided the information necessary for Kilmartin to issue Hugh’s indictment, the Providence Journal reported.

Providence Superior Court Judge Robert Krause set bail at $50,000 and required Hugh to stay within Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the Associated Press reported.

Hugh’s lawyer, Michael Lepizzera Jr., did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

“This case will play out in the only place where it is destined to play out, which is in the courtroom of our great judicial system,” Lepizzera told the AP.

Krause set the next hearing for Jan. 19.

As of Nov. 18, only Hugh had been formally indicted of bribing a public official, said Amy Kempe, public information officer for the R.I. attorney general.

 

Correction: A previous version of the deck for this article misstated that Hugh pleaded guilty to bribery. In fact, he pleaded not guilty. The Herald regrets the error.