RI.gov R.I. Government Agencies | Privacy Policy |

New and in the News

For more details on a specific meeting, see the Meeting Minutes.

 

The Ethics Commission held its 3rd meeting of 2015 on March 10, 2015.     

The Commission took the following actions:

Issued Advisory Opinion 2015-8 to Robert R. Moreau, a member of the Woonsocket City Council, opining that he may represent himself before the Woonsocket Board of Tax Review in order to appeal the tangible property tax assessed against a business that he owns, based upon a finding of hardship in accordance with Rhode Island General Laws § 36-14-5(e). 

Issued Advisory Opinion 2015-9 to Philip M. Overton, a member of the Westerly Town Council, opining that he is prohibited by the Code of Ethics from participating in the Town Council’s discussions and decision making relative to litigation involving Westerly Granite Company, LCC, given his insurance agent-client relationship with one of the owners of Westerly Granite Company, LLC. 

Issued Advisory Opinion 2015-10 to Wendy A. Regan, a member of the North Providence Planning Board, opining that she is prohibited by the Code of Ethics from participating in the Planning Board’s consideration of the Washington Trust Company’s application to construct a bank on Mineral Spring Avenue, given that her employer has an ongoing business association with the Washington Trust Company. 

Issued Advisory Opinion 2015-11 to Bonnita B. Van Slyke, a member of the Charlestown Town Council, opining that she is not prohibited by the Code of Ethics from participating in the Town Council’s consideration of matters involving Ninigret Park, notwithstanding that her primary residence is located in an abutting private development. 

Issued Advisory Opinion 2015-12 to Joseph R. Sousa, a member of the Tiverton Town Council, opining that he is not prohibited by the Code of Ethics from participating in the Town Council’s consideration of litigation matters involving the son of one of his business associates, provided that his business associate is not involved in the litigation and will not be financially impacted. 

Unanimously voted to approve an Informal Resolution & Settlement in the matter of In re: Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, Complaint No. 2014-13.  The Respondent, the Mayor of the City of Woonsocket, violated Commission Regulation 36-14-5004 by the City of Woonsocket’s hiring of the Respondent’s son for a part-time summer employment program with the Woonsocket Department of Public Works.  A civil penalty of $750 was imposed. 

Unanimously voted to approve an Informal Resolution & Settlement in the matter of In re: Denise L. Rhodes, Complaint No. 2014-20.  The Respondent, a candidate for municipal elected office in 2014, failed to timely file a 2013 Financial Disclosure Statement with the Ethics Commission in violation of Rhode Island General Laws § 36-14-16(c).  A civil penalty of $500 was imposed. 

Unanimously voted to approve an Informal Resolution & Settlement in the matter of In re: Garrett A. Mancieri, Complaint No. 2014-16.  The Respondent, a member of the Woonsocket City Council, acted as an expert witness before the Woonsocket Zoning Board of Review, over which he has appointing authority as a member of the City Council, to help his business associate obtain a special use permit, in violation of Rhode Island General Laws § 36-14-5(e).  A civil penalty of $500 was imposed. 

Unanimously voted to approve an Informal Resolution & Settlement in the matter of In re: Robert R. Moreau, Complaint No. 2014-11.  The Respondent, a member of the Woonsocket City Council, participated in the City Council’s vote to reappoint Lloyd R. Gariepy, the Respondent’s business associate, as Municipal Court Judge for the City of Woonsocket on December 6, 2011, in violation of Rhode Island General Laws § 36-14-5(a) & (d).  A civil penalty of $500 was imposed. 

Unanimously voted to approve an Informal Resolution & Settlement in the matter of In re: Christopher Warfel, Complaint No. 2014-5.  The Respondent, a member of the New Shoreham Town Council, represented the interests of his private company, Entech Engineering, Inc., before the New Shoreham Town Council on August 28, 2013, in violation of Rhode Island General Laws § 36-14-5(e).  A civil penalty of $500 was imposed. 

Unanimously voted to approve a First Extension of Time in the matter of In re: Dawson T. Hodgson, Complaint No. 2014-14. 

 

The Ethics Commission held its 13th meeting of 2014 on November 18, 2014.   

The Commission took the following actions:

Issued Advisory Opinion 2014-30 to the members of the Retirement Board of the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island, opining that the Code of Ethics requires those members of the Retirement Board who hold leadership positions in an organization that initiated litigation against the Retirement Board to recuse from participation in the Retirement Board’s approval of a proposed budget that includes funding for the Retirement Board’s legal defense in said litigation.

Issued Advisory Opinion 2014-31 to Richard J. DelFino, III, a member-elect of the Johnston Town Council, opining that he is prohibited by the Code of Ethics from participating in any matter before the Town Council that directly involves either of his parents.  Furthermore, specifically in response to the Petitioner’s questions, it is the opinion of the Ethics Commission that the Petitioner is prohibited from: (1) participating in the Town Council’s appointment of the Municipal Court Judge while his father serves or seeks to serve as the Municipal Court Clerk; and (2) participating in the Town Council’s discussions and votes relating to line items in the budget that address or affect the employment, compensation or benefits of either of his parents.  However, the Petitioner is permitted to participate in the Town Council’s discussion and decision-making relative to approving or rejecting the entire municipal budget as a whole.

Unanimously approved an Informal Resolution & Settlement in the matter of In re: Michael A. Solomon, Complaint No. 2014-7.  The Respondent, a member of the Providence City Council, failed to make certain required disclosures on his Financial Disclosure Statements filed with the Commission in violation of R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-16.  The Commission imposed a civil penalty of $2,000 for said violations. 

Unanimously approved a First Extension of Time in the matter of In re: James R. Grundy, Complaint No. 2014-2.  

Made an initial determination in In re: Garrett Mancieri, Complaint No. 2014-16, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation. 

Made an initial determination in In re: Daniel M. Gendron, Complaint No. 2014-17, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation. 

Made an initial determination in In re: Daniel P. Reilly, Complaint No. 2014-18, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation only as to Counts 1 and 3 of the Complaint. 

Made an initial determination in In re: Barbara A. Heavers, Complaint No. 2014-19, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation. 

Made an initial determination in In re: Denise L. Rhodes, Complaint No. 2014-20, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation. 

 

The Ethics Commission held its 12th meeting of 2014 on October 21, 2014.   

The Commission took the following actions:

Issued Advisory Opinion 2014-28 to Joseph J. Nicholson, Jr, Esq., the Interim City Manager for the City of Newport, opining that he is not prohibited by the Code of Ethics from simultaneously serving as legal counsel to the Housing Authority of the City of Newport for the duration of his temporary service as Interim City Manager and, in the future, when he resumes his role as Newport City Solicitor. 

Issued Advisory Opinion 2014-29 to Scott A. Lentz, a member of the North Smithfield Planning Board, who is also a general, non-voting member of the North Smithfield Land Trust, a private non-profit entity, opining that he is not required by the Code of Ethics to recuse from Planning Board matters relating to the North Smithfield Land Trust, provided that there are no other facts or circumstances that would otherwise create a conflict of interest. 

Made an initial determination in In re: Christopher Beauchamp, Complaint No. 2014-10, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation. 

Made an initial determination in In re: Robert Moreau, Complaint No. 2014-11, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation. 

Made an initial determination in In re: Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, Complaint No. 2014-13, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation. 

Made an initial determination in In re: Dawson T. Hodgson, Complaint No. 2014-14, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation. 

Made an initial determination in In re: Stephen Tetzner, Complaint No. 2014-15, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation. 

Made an initial determination in In re: William A. Walaska, Complaint No. 2014-12, and unanimously voted that the facts alleged therein, if true, were insufficient to constitute a knowing and willful violation of the Code of Ethics.  Therefore, the complaint was dismissed without prejudice.   

Unanimously approved an Informal Resolution & Settlement in the matter of In re: William Reichert, Complaint No. 2014-1.  The Respondent, a member of the Glocester Town Council and a member of the West Glocester Fire District Board of Directors, failed to make certain required disclosures on his Financial Disclosure Statements filed with the Commission in violation of R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-16.  The Commission imposed a civil penalty of $2,000 for said violations. 

 

The Ethics Commission held its 10th meeting of 2014 on August 19, 2014.

The Commission took the following actions:

Issued Advisory Opinion 2014-21 to N. David Bouley, the acting director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Woonsocket, opining that he is required by the Code of Ethics to recuse from participating in his official capacity in any matters involving NeighborWorks® Blackstone River Valley, including NeighborWorks’ application for a Community Development Block Grant.

Issued Advisory Opinion 2014-22 to Scott Wolf, a member of the City of Providence Zoning Board of Review, opining that he is not prohibited by the Code of Ethics from participating in the Zoning Board’s consideration of an appeal in which one of the appellants is his employer’s business associate.

Issued Advisory Opinion 2014-23 to Joyce L. Stevos, Ph.D., a member of the Rhode Island Board of Education – Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, opining that she is neither prohibited by the Code of Ethics from simultaneously serving as a board member of a charter school nor is she prohibited from participating in Board of Education actions that directly impact that charter school.

Issued Advisory Opinion 2014-24 to Gail Hallock Cyr, AIA, an alternate member of the North Kingstown Historic District Commission, who in her private capacity is an architect, opining that she qualifies for a hardship exception to the Code of Ethics’ prohibition on appearing before her own board to help her client obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness, in accordance with General Commission Advisory 2010-1 and provided that she recuses from participation in all Historic District Commission matters concerning her client.

Issued Advisory Opinion 2014-25 to Zaida Rivera, an administrative aide at the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights, opining that she is not prohibited by the Code of Ethics from representing herself before the Commission for Human Rights relative to a charge of discrimination that she filed against a private employer.

Made an initial determination in In re: Diana Serra, Complaint No. 2014-3 and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation.

Made an initial determination in In re: Kenneth Parilla, Complaint No. 2014-4 and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation only as to Counts 2, 7 and 9 in the Complaint.

Made an initial determination in In re: Christopher Warfel, Complaint No. 2014-5 and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation.

Made an initial determination in In re: Peter Palumbo, Complaint No. 2014-6 and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation.

Made an initial determination in In re: Michael A. Solomon, Complaint No. 2014-7 and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation.

Unanimously approved an Informal Resolution & Settlement in the matter of In re: Diana Serra, Complaint No. 2014-3. The Respondent, a member of the Westerly Town Council, failed to timely file a Financial Disclosure Statement for calendar year 2013 in violation of R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-16. The Commission imposed a civil penalty of $100 for said violation.