Today, Sue Cienki, Chairwoman of the R.I. Republican Party, has filed a complaint with the R.I. Ethics Commission regarding Brett Smiley, Governor Raimondo’s Director of Administration, for soliciting donations from state vendors, specifically Colin Kane of the Peregrine Group. Specifically, Kane told WPRI that Smiley had called him a few weeks ago to solicit the donation. This is a clear violation of Regulation 1.4.4(36-14-5011). 

R.I. Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Cienki commented: “Mr. Smiley is getting ready to resign to focus on the next chapter of his public service career. We believe that the next chapter in Smiley’s career shouldn’t begin until a sweeping investigation by the Ethics Commission into his unethical pay to play fundraising is conducted. We also hope that a future chapter in Smiley’s career does not involve Raimondo giving him a job in Washington D.C. Along with committing to keep Huawei on the Entity List, maybe U.S. Senators should demand that Raimondo commit not to put slimy Smiley, her right-hand man, on the federal payroll.”  

An excerpt from the memorandum in support of the complaint:

“The Ethics Commission should not limit its investigation to the one donation made by Kane. The Commission must launch a comprehensive investigation into all the donations Smiley received from individuals employed by state vendors to determine if he solicited donations from these individuals. The Ethics Commission has the power to compel production of documents and testimony from witnesses through the use of subpoena. The Ethics Commission should require all donors, who are associated with state vendors, to describe under oath any conversation they had with Smiley related to a campaign donation. Specifically, these donors should be asked under oath whether Smiley promised or threatened them in any way. 

A full investigation of Smiley’s fundraising activities with the employees of state vendors is justified. Smiley promised the Ethics Commission he would “not solicit or accept campaign contributions from any state vendors.”  

Smiley lied to the Ethics Commission. The Ethics Commission must conduct a sweeping investigation of Smiley’s fundraising practices and fine him.



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