GRAND JURY COMMENCES INVESTIGATION INTO MATTIELLO CAMPAIGN
Yesterday, it was reported that Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha has impaneled a grand jury relating to a political mailer in the 2016 campaign between Mattiello and Republican opponent Steve Frias.
“We are pleased that the Attorney General has commenced a grand jury investigation into the illegal activities of House Speaker Mattiello’s campaign in 2016” said RI GOP Chairman Sue Cienki. “We hope the grand jury investigation ends the cover up.”
According to documents submitted to the Board of Elections, Mattiello campaign operative Jeff Britt, with the assistance of Mattiello campaign consultant Matt Jerzyk, illegally coordinated with Shawna Lawton to send out an endorsement mailer. Also, Ms. Lawton indicated in writing that she was “promised” action on vaccination issues by the Mattiello campaign in return for her endorsement. Furthermore, Britt hindered an investigation by ignoring a subpoena by the Board of Elections. Lastly, during the WPRI 12 debate on November 4, 2016, Speaker Mattiello stated that in reference to the Lawton endorsement controversy: "After the story broke, I talked to folks in the campaign and nobody mentioned a particular issue … Nobody in my campaign has any knowledge of that issue."
“Rhode Island appears to be falling to a new ethical low. The Speaker’s campaign is under a grand jury investigation while the Governor is under an ethics investigation for a billion-dollar no-bid deal. Rhode Island must do better than this,” concluded Cienki.