RI GOP Files Ethics Complaint Over Agreement Between Raimondo And Providence Democrats

Feb 12, 2018

Raimondo during her most recent State of the State address.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Rhode Island Republican Party has filed an ethics complaint over a fundraising agreement between Governor Gina Raimondo and the Providence Democratic City Committee.

The GOP said the agreement appears to violate a provision against making a financial transaction with a subordinate.

The fundraising agreement was reached with support from Patrick Ward, who was hired for a job with the state Department of Human Services last year. Ward stepped down as Providence’s Democratic City Committee chairman last week due to an unrelated dispute, over criticism of a meme he had posted on social media.

In a statement, RI GOP Chairman Brandon Bell said, "Governor Raimondo’s decision to enter into an agreement with a local party committee, whose chairman is a subordinate state employee, and was approved under secretive circumstances, is unusual. We anticipate that the facts when they are exposed will reveal that a sophisticated political operative on behalf of Raimondo proposed this scheme to Ward."

Raimondo’s office has not responded to request for comment on the fundraising agreement.