Cianci was a larger-than-life character. This was a man who had been re-elected mayor after pleading no-contest to beating his wife’s lover with a fireplace log. He had his own line of pasta sauce. The judge who sentenced him on federal corruption charges, Ernest Torres, had compared him in court, with equal parts admiration and revulsion, to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
There were two Ciancis, Torres said. One was the most talented politician the state had ever seen, a legendary wit who could enthrall audiences. The other had turned the entire machinery of city government into a criminal enterprise. ‘My job is to sentence the second Buddy Cianci, because the first Buddy Cianci couldn’t be here,’ he said