The city's colorful ex-mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci left a federal prison Wednesday after more than four years and headed to Boston, where he'll spend his days promoting a luxury hotel and his nights sleeping in shared quarters at a halfway house.

The former mayor, known both for the economic rejuvenation of Providence and for his showy style and toupees, was released from a prison in New Jersey around 3 a.m., said Fort Dix officer Tim Lewis.

Cianci, 66, was sent there in December 2002, after his conviction on a charge of racketeering conspiracy for reigning over what prosecutors said was rampant corruption at City Hall while the city's economy was improving. He had held office for 21 years, making him one of the longest-serving mayors of a large city in U.S. history.

Cianci now must report to a halfway house in Boston, where he will live temporarily. He is scheduled to be in federal custody through July 28, but could be released from the halfway house to home confinement before then.

The halfway house holds about 120 people. Cianci likely will share a room with two to five others, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He already has a job in sales and marketing at Fifteen Beacon, a luxury hotel near the Massachusetts Statehouse.