The Law: Bill Bailey's Rhode Island Blues

The worst thing I ever did was win an election, says William H. Bailey, 40, the first black ever elected to the Rhode Island state legislature from the ghetto district of south Providence. Until his election last November, Bailey was riding high as the prosperous owner of four apartment buildings. Now his long criminal record has been revealed, and he faces the prospect of serving up to four years in a Michigan prison for larceny.

Nobody challenged Bailey's victory in the Democratic primary last September, but there were charges of voting fraud in other...

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