Providence, RI - House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan is criticizing Attorney General Peter Kilmartin for cost increases and obscured information in the Google settlement documents. Since paying almost $4,000 to the Attorney General’s office, Leader Morgan received the first batch of documents related to the $230 million 2012 Google Settlement, of which the Attorney General received $60 million. The documents have revealed inappropriate expenses, including utility bills and promotional pins. However, many of the documents are almost completely obscured with redactions.
The cost of the documents has also doubled. Leader Morgan dropped off a personal check for $3,750 to the Attorney General’s office on August 21st, and the office now demands an additional $3,750 to release the remaining documents, stating his prior request was a “conservative estimate.”
Morgan commented on the situation, saying: “The people of Rhode Island deserve the information on how, why, and where that money was spent. Does the Attorney General think software updates, new vehicles, and promotional pins is more important than our children’s safety at school? Did Rhode Island taxpayers approve the purchases of $100,000 for a new communication platform, $31,000 for renovations and rug replacement for a building they vacated? Over $49,000 was spent on electrical work, $1,050 on window cleaning, and over $3,000 on promotional pins with the AG’s name engraved.
“Why were the Google settlement funds spent on utility bills, including Providence Water, and a shiny new fleet of vehicles? The settlement funds are restricted from being used for operational expenses like utility bills. This is the kind of obfuscation, waste, and fraud that has ruined the reputation of our state.
“There are millions of dollars of invoices left to sort through. I am being blocked and stalled at every request. They have redacted a significant amount on the invoices and now demand more money. I demand answers and so should every Rhode Islander. How much money is left and where does he plan to spend it. Do taxpayers have a say? We deserve better and I will continue to fight corruption and greed as long as it exists.”