GROUP OF HOUSE REPUBLICANS CONDEMN ATTORNEY GENERAL’S LACK OF TRANSPARENCY DECRY UNPROFESSIONAL, OPAQUE TREATMENT OF REQUESTS DEMAND REFORM FOR MORE OPEN STATE GOVERNMENT
Providence, RI - House Republican leaders are denouncing Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and his staff for their lack of transparency surrounding the 2012 Google Settlement documents. The group of representatives includes Leader Patricia Morgan, Senior Deputy Leader Anthony Giarrusso, and Representatives Sherry Roberts, Bob Quattrocchi, Justin Price, and Ken Mendonça. The representatives are condemning the actions of the Attorney General’s office in their handling of the release of the Google Settlement documents.
Leader Morgan has been seeking the release of the documents since February of this year in light of the tragic Parkland school shooting. Morgan commented, saying: “At every turn the Attorney General has been using his authority and his knowledge of the legal process to thwart our requests. I have had to file an Access to Public Records (APRA) request, appeal to the Superior Court three times, and pay over $4000 from my personal funds.”
“The Attorney Generals’ office, further demonstrating their animosity to transparency and accountability, has repeatedly issued demeaning press releases, dismissively referring to me as ‘Patty’ and accusing me of ‘putting [my] head in the sand.’ As I have said before, this is not becoming conduct of our Attorney General, whose job requires the highest legal and ethical standards.”
The caucus members jointly stated the following: “We thank our House colleagues who have generously aided in the release of the remaining documents. We also appreciate their resolve that these opaque, deceptive practices must stop.”
“However, in the seven months that this battle has gone on, state Democratic leaders have offered no help. It was under Democratic leadership that $230 million was spent over the past 7 years – with no oversight. While we welcome their demands for an apology to Leader Morgan, we are concerned about their silence and lack of interest in how the Attorney General has spent the money. This signals a fundamental problem with transparency and accountability at the highest levels of state government.”
“While Leader Morgan deserves the apology, the people of Rhode Island deserve these documents to be made public, without whole pages of ‘embarrassing’ information redacted. We call upon the Attorney General to release the Google documents and stop his tiresome game of hide and seek. The obstruction must stop, and the documents – without cumbersome and disingenuous redactions – must be released to the public.”