THERE SHOULD BE CONSEQUENCES FOR SMILEY AND RAIMONDO
Today, we learned that Governor Gina Raimondo’s Chief of Staff Brett Smiley allegedly threatened Marc Cristafulli of Twin River with consequences if they, Rhode Island’s casino vendor, opposed Raimondo’s billion-dollar no-bid deal with IGT. Meanwhile, the Ethics Commission is currently investigating Governor Raimondo for engaging in conduct to benefit her business associate at the Democratic Governors Association, Donald Sweitzer, a lobbyist for and possible shareholder of IGT.
Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Sue Cienki commented: “This is a serious allegation which needs to be investigated. It is inappropriate for a Rhode Island government official to threaten consequences to any business or person who chooses to exercise their First Amendment rights by expressing an opinion on legislation. If Mr. Cristafulli has collaborating evidence of the threats made by Mr. Smiley then Raimondo should fire Smiley. Aggressive behavior like this should not be tolerated.”
Cienki continued: “We request that the House Oversight Committee and the Senate Committee for Rules, Government Ethics and Oversight conduct a joint investigation into this issue. The Republican Party will be filing with the Ethics Commission information to inform them of Smiley’s alleged behavior. We also feel that as part of its ongoing investigation into Raimondo, the Ethics Commission should look into her chief of staff’s alleged inappropriate conduct to help pass legislation to help benefit Raimondo’s business associate Donald Sweitzer. Finally, we repeat our request to the General Assembly to refrain from voting on any legislation, which favors IGT while the Ethics Commission is investigating Raimondo and until an investigation into Smiley’s alleged threatening conduct towards Twin River is completed.”