- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A government watchdog group has filed a complaint with the state ethics commission over a lawmaker’s bid to host concessions at three state beaches.

Common Cause Rhode Island filed the complaint on Thursday against Rep. Peter Palumbo. The Cranston Democrat did not immediately return a request for comment.

The group’s executive director, John Marion, says members of the General Assembly control the purse strings, and shouldn’t be allowed to “stick their hands in the same purse for personal gain.”

Palumbo was the high bidder for the 5-year contract last year. But he backed out, leaving Democratic Party Chairman David Caprio as the next highest bidder. Caprio then hired Palumbo to run the stands. He paid $226,640 less than Palumbo had bid.

State Police are investigating the contracts.

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