The Rhode Island Supreme Court has reinstated the law license of John Cicilline, five-and-a-half years after losing it for orchestrating a courthouse corruption scheme.
He only got the news Friday morning.
"It's a wonderful day for myself and my family, and I look forward to getting back to work," John Cicilline told NBC 10.
Cicilline is settling into his office at the Federal Hill law firm of his father, Jack, the well-known defense lawyer who famously represented Mafia boss Raymond Patriarca. John Cicilline's brother is U.S. Rep. David Cicilline.
John Cicilline pleaded guilty to federal felonies in 2008, and five years after completing his 18-month sentence, petitioned the state Supreme Court to be reinstated to the Rhode Island bar.
One of the factors in his reinstatement was the scores of letters of recommendation written on his behalf, now in the files of the Supreme Court clerk.
One of those vouching for him was former Attorney General Patrick Lynch.
"I found Mr. Cicilline to be one of the finest, hard-working, trustworthy opposing counsel that I encountered," Lynch wrote.
Another letter came from former House Speaker William Murphy.
"I believe that John … has had considerable time to reflect on … its detrimental impact on both the criminal justice system and his personal life," Murphy said.
"I think there were about 20 prosecutors who wrote letters on my behalf, and I think at the end of the day when you read those letters you get a true sense of who John Cicilline was," Cicilline said.
And as he begins to occupy the empty space down the hall from his father, he reflected on his second chance.
"It was my birthday the other day. This is a little gift so I can get on with my life and come back to do the thing that I love," Cicilline said. "Being away for five-and-a-half years from this practice, you miss it."
Part of Cicilline's readmission to the bar requires he have a legal monitor, who will be Murphy.
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