With the state Ethics Commission poised to consider likely action on a revolving door complaint against former state Rep. Don Lally, Lally has resigned from his controversial job with the Raimondo administration.
In a letter dated Wednesday to Governor Gina Raimondo, Lally said he enjoyed working for the state. "Reluctantly, the time has come for me to offer my resignation because unfortunately, the validity of my appointment is being questioned and is proving to be a distraction from your economic agenda," Lally wrote. "Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you and the people of the State of Rhode Island."
The move comes as the ethics complaint filed against Lally "will likely be an item on our next agenda for the Commission’s meeting next Tuesday," said Jason Gramitt, a spokesman for the Ethics Commission. "The complaint is pending, and the next step would be to hold a probable cause hearing. [Lally's] resignation has no impact on the pending status of the case."
Lally, a former long-time rep from Narragansett, has not responded to telephone messages requesting comment.
The Raimondo administration hired Lally last July, four months after he resigned from the General Assembly, and he was assigned as a liaison to the state Department of Business Regulation.
Lally's hiring sparked criticism as an example of insider politics, in part since he had received the backing of House Nicholas Mattiello, and because the job came so soon after he left the General Assembly.
The state Republican Party filed a complaint charging that the move violated the state's revolving door law. The law requires elected officials to be out of government employment for a year before taking a job with the state.
The commission voted last September to examine the complaint.