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[SOS] Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s nominee for the Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award wins
Start Date: 7/17/2014 All Day
End Date: 7/17/2014
Entry Description

Rhode Island Deputy Secretary of State Paul Caranci recognized for stopping political corruption

INDIANAPOLIS (July 17, 2014) – Secretary of State Connie Lawson applauded the awarding of the Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award to Rhode Island Deputy Secretary of State Paul Caranci.  Secretary Lawson nominated Mr. Caranci in recognition of his political bravery in stopping corruption in the town of North Providence, Rhode Island. Mr. Caranci was selected by a vote of the National Association of Secretaries of State who informed Secretary Lawson’s nominee at the Association’s summer conference in Baltimore, MD.

“Paul demonstrated a great amount of political courage by working to uncover corrupt public officials,” said Secretary Lawson.  “His willingness to stand up to corruption is a true example of what it means to be a public servant.  Paul sacrificed a budding political career to ensure the citizens of North Providence were being represented by fair and honest elected officials.”

While serving as Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Caranci also served on the North Providence Town Council.  During his time on the Council, Mr. Caranci uncovered an extortion, bribery and kickback scheme directed by his council colleagues.  He worked with the FBI for almost two years to gather evidence all the while putting his family and career at risk.  Because of his effort, those involved in the corruption were found guilty.  Five were sent to federal prison, two to half-way houses, one to home confinement and two were ordered to pay fines.

U.S. Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN 4), former NASS president, was instrumental in helping Secretary Lawson develop the nomination materials.


The Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award began in 1992. It is named after Margaret Chase Smith, a former U.S. Senator from Maine, who put her career on the line by speaking out against Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.  Recipients are nominated and recognized for similar acts of political bravery, uncommon character and selflessness when serving the public.  Former winners of the award include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Rosa Parks and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. 

About the National Association of Secretaries of State


Founded in 1904, the National Association of Secretaries of State is the nation’s oldest, nonpartisan professional organization for public officials. Members include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


NASS serves as a medium for the exchange of information between states and fosters cooperation in the development of public policy. The association has key initiatives in the areas of elections and voting, state business services and digital archiving, as well as several well-established awards programs. Learn more by visiting

Contact Information:
Name: Amy Miller
Phone: 317-234-8352
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    Secretary of State

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