- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The speaker of the Rhode Island House says a former member of his leadership team should not resign his seat after he pleaded no contest to personal use of campaign funds.

Rep. Joe Almeida, a Providence Democrat, pleaded no contest on Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of using campaign money for himself.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello tells The Providence Journal (https://bit.ly/1FeENYL ) that it sounded like a case of bad record keeping and characterized it as a slight indiscretion. He said he’s glad the distraction is behind Almeida.

Almeida was originally charged with a felony count of unlawful appropriation of more than $1,000 in campaign funds. Police said he could not account for more than $6,100 in campaign money.

Almeida, a retired police officer, resigned as deputy majority whip after his arrest.

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