Last week, it was revealed that grand juries were investigating House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s campaign and Doctor Pedro, a chiropractor who received $1.88 million largely through the efforts of Frank Montanaro Jr., and Speaker Mattiello. This week a WPRI news report showed that Grant Pilkington, Mattiello’s Deputy Chief of Staff, is a shareholder in American Standard Hemp. In addition, William Farrell, a state house lobbyist, serves as this company’s chief officer while the company’s legal counsel is Matthew Jerzyk, who was involved in the illegal Shawnagate mailer. Previously, Mr. Pilkington was a beneficiary of some of the $72,067 illegally spent by Mattiello from his PAC. Lastly, this past year the Rhode Island House of Representatives enacted legislation through the budget this year which affected the hemp industry.

R.I. Republican Party Chairman Sue Cienki commented: “It is concerning to learn that a top staffer of Speaker Matttiello has gone into business with state house lobbyists in an industry that is highly regulated by state lawmakers. If Mr. Pilkington was involved in any way with legislation that affects hemp or legislation impacted by the lobbying activities of his hemp business associates, Farrell and Jerzyk, there would be a violation of the Ethics Code. As a result, we are making a series of requests for public information to state government in order to gather evidence on Mr. Pilkington’s potential violation of the Ethics Code. If evidence is located either through requests for public information or from the media, Mr. Pilkington will be facing an ethics complaint.”

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