August 16, 2010

Hey, If Former Senate President Irons Had Held Up a Bank, the Jurisdiction of the Criminal Court Would Have Been Contingent upon His Holding Office, Too

Monique Chartier

Kudos to Katherine Gregg at the Providence Journal for uncovering this, which she broke a couple of hours ago.

Former Senate President William V. Irons took $25,385 out of his long-running campaign account to pay legal bills he amassed while fighting ethics charges that resulted in the Rhode Island Supreme Court decision last year that effectively freed state lawmakers from Ethics Commission scrutiny and prosecution.

In his last report to the state Board of Elections, filed July 22, before closing out his account, Irons attributed the $25,385 expenditure to: "Other.''

Using campaign contributions for non-campaign legal fees? That's not kosher, is it? Well, apparently it is, if you can somehow get an official sign-off.

On April 21, elections board chairman John A. Daluz advised Irons, in writing, that state law "permits the expenditure of campaign funds for any expense that results from campaign or office-holder activity.'

"Since the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission was contingent upon you holding office, reimbursement of legal fees related to ethics complaints are the result of office-holder activities and are therefore allowable,'' he wrote.

This is a definitional stretch that makes a mockery of Rhode Island's campaign finance laws.

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So is this something anyone can do - get a letter from the Chairman of the Elections Board on whether or not an expenditure is "allowable"? How many such advisory letters has he written? Did this question come before the entire board? Was there a public hearing involved? Was there notice?

Posted by: riborn at August 16, 2010 6:58 PM

This is RI and the powers that be can do ANYTHING they desire..

Heck, the Governor will soon be appointing Joe Montalbano to the RI Judiciary and absolutely NO ONE can do anything about it.

Face it people, It's all over!

Anyone want to takes bets on Joe becoming a Judge?

Will Ricci, are you there?

My bet is on Montalbano....

Posted by: Aldo at August 16, 2010 8:20 PM

"According to Katherine Gregg, who describes herself a reporter for a newspaper calling itself the Providence Journal"

Carroll Andrew Morse

Posted by: Sammy at August 16, 2010 9:42 PM

Wow, did you miss the boat on that one, Sammy. Andrew's target with that remark wasn't Katherine at all.

Posted by: Monique at August 16, 2010 9:47 PM

"Wow, did you miss the boat on that one, Sammy. Andrew's target with that remark wasn't Katherine at all." Monique remarked. Monique- since we all live on a Rhode Island, I don't think you shoud be counting missed boats. You, I am 'shore',have had your share.

Posted by: David S at August 16, 2010 10:13 PM


What is it that you don't like about the grammatical constructions that Katherine Gregg uses from time to time?

Posted by: Andrew at August 17, 2010 9:46 AM