- Associated Press - Thursday, August 3, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - One of Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s top appointees has agreed to repay Rhode Island College $41,083 of the nearly $50,000 in free tuition he and his family controversially received.

The public college in Providence also released Thursday an internal review concluding administrators didn’t violate any policies when they granted Frank Montanaro Jr. his unique benefits package.

The former Democratic state representative from Cranston was granted a three-year leave with tuition benefits when he left his post as the college’s associate director of facilities and operations in 2014 to become director of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Legislative Services.

State police are investigating the arrangement.

Montanaro maintains he was entitled to the benefits under his union contract, but the college says he was the only employee in a decade to receive them.

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