WARWICK, R.I. – Today, R.I. Republican Party Chairman Joe Powers filed a complaint against Governor Dan McKee with the R.I. Ethics Commission. McKee violated Ethics Commission Regulation 1.4.2 (36-14-5009) when he accepted a free lunch in excess of $25 from Jeff Britt, a lobbyist who has had previous legal troubles.
Republican Party of R.I. Chairman Joe Powers has the following comments:
“Rhode Island has a monumental ethics problem. Rhode Island has a governor who took a free lunch from a lobbyist, top officials who demand gifts from a state vendor, and a house speaker who pushes bills to benefit his legal clients. No wonder businesses stay away from Rhode Island.
McKee thinks the controversy about his free lunch is just people ‘making a mountain out of a mole hill.’ In fact, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. McKee’s free lunch and the donations he took from a state vendor at this lunch is just one small example of Rhode Island’s pay-to-play political culture. McKee is one of the faces atop Rhode Island’s unethical political establishment. He needs to be held accountable.”
An excerpt from the memorandum in support of the complaint:
“The Ethics Commission should investigate and fine Governor McKee for his free lunch. An old adage says: “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” If the Ethics Commission does not fine Governor McKee, that saying will need to be changed to: “there’s no such thing as a free lunch unless you’re a Rhode Island politician.”