Today, the Ethics Commission rejected the recommendation of its own staff and decided that the revolving door prohibition does not apply to Senator Erin Lynch Prata in her campaign to be a Rhode Island Supreme Court judge.
RI GOP Chairwoman Sue Cienki commented: “The majority of the Ethics Commission should be embarrassed. It rejected a well-reasoned opinion of its own staff. A Supreme Court judgeship is not an elected constitutional office; it is an appointed position. By opening the revolving door for legislators to go directly to the Supreme Court, a majority on the Ethics Commission voted to go back to the corrupt judicial selection politics that existed a generation ago when two consecutive Chief Justices, who were former legislators, resigned in disgrace.”
Cienki concluded: “For the Ethics Commission to override its own staff, there must have been a great deal of behind the scenes pressure from the State House. The Ethics Commission sent a message today. Lynch is a cinch for the Supreme Court. Sitting judges should not seek the appointment. Qualified persons of color should not bother applying. Despite all the civil unrest in our country, Governor Raimondo will not even consider appointing a person of color to the Supreme Court. She has already made a deal to appoint a State House politician.”