As stories of Providence’s long-serving, twice-convicted mayor stubbornly persist in print, podcast and play, it’s time to introduce the Buddy Cianci that I knew.

This is the story of two interviews. The first took place two months after I took a new job in Providence as a reporter for a fledgling weekly, and the second, when I was about to resign as that same paper’s managing editor nearly seven years later.

I left an editor’s position at a Newport (R.I.) newspaper for a job closer to home, where I joined the staff of Providence weekly with the promise of a modestly improved…