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NEW: WPRO’s John DePetro Claims He Was Threatened Says Lawyer

Tuesday, December 03, 2013



In a statement issued by Providence Attorney Tim Dodd on behalf of radio talk show host John DePetro, DePetro is alleging that he was physically threatened by two individuals as he arrived for work. He believes the threats were tied to an ongoing effort by many RI union officials to have DePetro fired from his positions and/or advertisers to drop their sponsorships on his show

DePetro, who is a highly rated and controversial talk show host has been tied to many controversies in the past few years.

Read attorney Dodd's statement and see the related articles below relating to DePetro.


 This morning, December 3, 2013, John DePetro was physically confronted at the parking lot of his placement of work by two unknown individuals, threatening his personal safety and employment. Mr. DePetro immediately responded to the East Providence Police Department to report this unwarranted and unacceptable encounter.

 Recently, John DePetro has become the target of a smear campaign, designed to incite hostility and violence against him and to slander him by intentionally spreading blatantly mischaracterized information.

 This smear campaign against John DePetro stems from his criticisms of certain adults (both male and female) who were disrupting attendees (including many women) at a “Women Changing Rhode Island" fundraiser on behalf of General Treasurer, Gina Raimondo in September, 2013.

Mr. DePetro opined that many of these "protesters" had compromised their principals for
personal gain.

It is apparent that certain individuals would like to manipulate the public discourse regarding Mr. DePetro, so as to have him removed from his radio station.

However, Mr. DePetro believes that all citizens should be free to attend a political event and/or fundraiser without the fear of intimidation, retribution, threats of violence, or to run a gauntlet of unruly and threatening individuals to attend the scheduled event.

Mr. DePetro shall resolutely stand his ground to discuss issues of the day, expose the truth as he sees, identify the motives of individuals who oppose him, and he shall continue to speak out on issues of concern to all Rhode Islanders.

Regardless of the political agenda of certain individuals or groups, the threatening conduct and actions taken against John DePetro today, should be seen by all individuals and organizations to be unacceptable, as such bullying tactics have no place in the arena of public discourse.

Very truly yours,

Timothy J. Dodd, Esq.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In 2010, John DePetro was a MINDSETTER™ for GoLocalProv as part of a media partnership with Citadel Broadcasting - now part of Cumulus.

Related Slideshow:
Rhode Island’s Changing Media Landscape

Radio, print, television and digital- the faces in Rhode Islands's media has changed drastically over the past months... Let's take a look at some of the biggest moves:

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John DePetro

WPRO talk show host has come under fire for comments he made on air regarding women. Leading union organizations have called for DePetro to be fired. 

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Former star of the reality show Survivor, turned talk radio show host is out. Helen Glover departs and is replaced by radio Veteran Ron St. Pierre, who only months earlier was let go by 630 WPRO. St. Pierre is a radio Hall-of-Famer and former top sports anchor on WPRI-12.
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(Photo: Alan Levine, Flickr)

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bill bentley

Poor John. Everyone seems to want to beat him up.

what cheer

How is this guy not constantly black and blue? What ever happened to his sexual harassment lawsuit? Does he still have his other house in Barrington for his extra-circular activities?
How embarrassing for Alex and Ani to still advertise on his show.

bill bentley

That was a little below the belt. If people are upset I think he's probably doing his job. He's an inciter of the masses and the masses are incited. And your remark about Alex and Ani is thuggish. In the words of Nietzsche, "he who fights monsters should beware that he does not become a monster; he who looks long into the void should remember that the void looks long back.

paul zecchino

Is someone playing the Victim Card to inflate their ratings, pander to politicians, and discredit unions? Doesn't it seem an uncanny coincidence that the SEC announced it will reportedly investigate the described theft of contractually owed COLA's from RI retirees?

Did he actually swear out a complaint with police or merely make an informational report? The lawyer's statement is ambiguous, to say the least, isn't it? Are police investigating? If they are, what is the progress of their investigation?

Why issue a report of an alleged attack thru one's lawyer? Lawyer's charge money for their time, don't they? Lawyers charge larger fees for issuing public proclamations, don't they? When one has the magnificent power of the microphone, why not keep it simple and simply tell one's listeners directly?

Is it any coincidence that he appears to praise the RI treasurer and portray them as a 'Victim' while demonizing and implicating critics, coincident with news reports which make it clear that RI retirees have been reduced for the benefit of hedge fund cronies?

Gary Arnold

John may be a loud mouth but UNION tactics are not acceptable. It's the sleazy way the union hoods go about their intimidation that ticks everyone off. Time to abolish unions, their usefulness has passed in the last 20 years. Now unions are taking too much off the taxpayer.

bill bentley

Um, Paul, you know White men are not allowed to state the obvious.

Were you an editor for Star Magazine? That's 11 question marks in 11 sentences. A new world record.

bill bentley

What Cheer, why the pseudonym? Its difficult to take what you say as valid or authoritative when your a coward.

frank bentley

that radio station has security cameras in its parking areas & surrounding property..play the video..case solved

paul zecchino

Bill Bentley -

There's a simple reason for ending my questions with question marks: they're questions, and that's the proper punctuation. Did you miss that in grammar school?

I'm asking questions. That's what what people do to get at the truth, they ask questions.

Thus far, I've not received any answers.

Gary Arnold - "Union tactics are not acceptable"? Which union tactics? There's no concise description of this alleged incident, is there? There's just a vague, incomplete, defective allegation made by someone who thinks some people who might have been from a union said or did something.

The entire thing sounds like an attempt to smear unions in order to make the treasurer and their sham 'pension reform' appear to be Victims, to shift attention from the coincident announcement that the SEC will be investigating the withholding of lawfully owed COLA's to retirees.

If you look at this a bit more closely, you'll find articles by Ted Siedle in Forbes re NY state officials investigating some of the same characters to whom RI pension fund managers handed millions.

How do you know this alleged incident even occurred? What's the complaint number filed with police? Why did the talk host's lawyer issue this public statement? Is that what you do when you experience a property or personal crime, issue a public proclamation of union guilt through your lawyer? Who'd pay for that? You?

Generally, when citizens experience a crime against their property or their person, they swear out an official complaint with the police, don't they?

They don't often instead publicly issue melodramatic announcements as to their being a Victim of union harassment thru their attorney, do they?

This entire pack of allegations seems hinky, manipulative, and contrived for ulterior motives.

If you were supposedly attacked or intimidated, and you had the fantastic power of the broadcast microphone at your disposal, you'd likely tell your listeners about it in concise detail, wouldn't you? You'd describe the alleged assailants, their clothing, manner of speaking, their precise words, how many of assailants, etc.

Instead, it's this big, fat, declaration that the poor treasurer is being put upon by unruly demonstrators who then sent union goons - allegedly - to bother a talk host.

What next? Will those evil union people who hide under out beds enlist Martians invade Downers Grove?

Tune in tomorrow for the next lawyer's press release.

Doesn't anyone speak for themselves anymore?

pearl fanch

Congrats to the two goons. Depetro is nothing but a clown, looking to self promote himself, every chance he gets.
If WPRO had any balls, they would have canned him a long time ago.

David Beagle

What is it that people don't get about the fact that controversy and drama translate into ratings and $$$$? Too many have the NPR frame of mind

Gary Arnold

Hey Paul Z, historical evidence of union corruption and law breaking is recorded in every federal court, state court and even local courts. If you want proof get off you computer and look it up, it's right in front of you, unless you don't want to see or admit it, that's your prerogative.
Ever hear about erosion and decay of our education system, guess what, it started and continues due to the unions in our school systems, again just look over the past 25 years of documentation.

paul zecchino

Gary Arnold -

This isn't about incontrovertible historical evidence of union corruption. Nor is it about erosion and decay of our education system. You and I stand in agreement on all points there.

But this isn't about those Straw Man arguments you raised. It's about an allegation made against unidentified individuals who acted is some undescribed manner which supposedly caused the complainant some alleged degree of upset. So they claim.

To fog things up a bit, the issue some proclamation thru their lawyer. Why? Why do so when you have the fantastic gift of the power of the broadcast microphone at your disposal? Why not simply go public, tell the people your story directly? Why pay a lawyer to do that?

Try to stick to specifics. Take a stab at answering questions asked. Because your rhetorical gags are so old, they're not even last year's gags. And they're unresponsive and off the mark.

Yeah, yeah. Unions are corrupt. Nations make wars. Trains crash. But that's not the issue under discussion, is it? Oh, look, a squirrel...

paul zecchino

Twenty years ago, a popular talk host while on-air claimed they'd been shot. The talk host had many listeners including a following among the local PD, who responded en masse to what they believed was an attempted murder. This dumb stunt endangered the lives of police officers and citizens and resulted in the dismissal of the host.

Anyone can make up a story about being attacked by union goons, Martians, soviet agents of KGB, or those peripatetic Men of Repo Games.

Anyone can issue a melodramatic proclamation of Victimhood thru an attorney, and the attorney will issue same for a fee. It proves nothing. Worse, it incites one against the other at a time when those who are increasingly seen as culpable in the 'pension reform shenanigans' are going all out to obfuscate the truth.

What next? Will TV newspeople claim that they were harassed by MOBsters for doing an expose on some organized crime activities? Will newspaper staffers claim that 'retail goons intimidated' them in retaliation for increasing ad rates at holiday time?

This entire thing stinks of desperations. And thus far, the points raised are being nicely validated by inanities and Straw M Diversions from the shill-parrots.

paul zecchino

The talk host was allegedly accosted in the station parking lot? Who witnessed this? What do the security camera tapes show? A good talk host is by definition a trained observer. What did these 'union goons' look like? Short? Tall? Fat? Dumpy? Muscled? Hair color? What did they say, specifically, that was 'threatening'? What were they driving? Or did they come by bus? By train? Ocean liner?

When one is accosted, when one experiences a crime against their person, their thought processes accelerate. They observe and remember everything in excruciating detail.

Yet here we have vagueries about 'union goons' - let me guess, they're names were Guido and Biaggio? - Victim stories about the poor treasurer and evil protesters who said things unspecified? Oh please.

Ted Siedle is right, there's much more to this than has yet been revealed.

Walter Miller

There's no one to root for in this instance.
DePetro is arrogant and condescending to callers. His comments about the teacher protest at Raimond0's fundraiser were out of bounds in their nastiness.

For their part, Teacher Union minions have shown themselves to be rude, threatening and completely unyielding to any type of difference of opinion.

Yup, no one to cheer for in this case. They deserve on another.

Sammy Arizona

The radio ratings manipulator, and pea-party favorite, the coward DePetro who threw his own wife under the bus and is now involved in a messy sex scandal is a vile and nauseating individual.

DePetro is a perfect broadcasting partner for the right-wing-nut and TWICE convicted felon Buddy Cianci

The conservative Sean Hannity has elevated Cianci, to his "Great American Panel" could DePetro be next ????

None of WPRO's or WHJJ's pseudo conservatives would make it on Arizona talk radio, right-winger-rubes here demand a much higher level of crazy, and a lot more venomous hate speech. Like righties everywhere they do have a soft spot for convicted felons, so they might tolerate Buddy Cianci.
Sammy in Arizona

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