- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 28, 2020

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island Ethics Commission voted Tuesday to dismiss a complaint by the state Republican Party that Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo violated state ethics rules when she negotiated a no-bid, 20-year contract extension with state lottery provider IGT.

The commission voted 7-1 to dismiss the complaint, saying it didn’t find evidence the governor committed a “knowing and willful” violation.

“We are pleased that the Ethics Commission voted to dismiss this baseless complaint, following a thorough review,” Raimondo attorney Jonathan Berkon said.

The Rhode Island Republican Party said it was disappointed but not surprised.

“In recent years, the Ethics Commission has interpreted the conflict of interest provisions of the Ethics Code in a way that benefits State House politicians,” the party said in a statement.



The party said Raimondo should not have negotiated with a former IGT executive and current lobbyist because he’s an official with the Democratic Governors Association, which Raimondo led.

The complaint filed in July alleged that Raimondo violated the prohibition against public officials using their positions to benefit a “business associate.”

Raimondo has said the $1 billion deal would keep about 1,100 jobs in the state. The contract requires legislative approval.

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