Morgan Questions Kilmartin’s Use of Google Settlement Funds for Operating Expenses

Thursday, September 20, 2018

 

View Larger +

Patricia Morgan

House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan announced on Wednesday that her findings from her initial Access to Public Records Request (APRA) into how Attorney General Peter Kilmartin's office has spent its Google settlement funds has revealed that Kilmartin's office used portions of the settlement for operating expenses -- which Morgan says was expressly forbidden in the settlement.   

Morgan, who was defeated in the Republican gubernatorial primary last week, also announced her intention to return to Superior Court to challenge Kilmartin’s handling of her regarding the money from the Google settlement.

“The AG’s office has consistently thwarted Leader Morgan’s attempts and this week erected another barrier.  The Attorney General's office wrote on Monday, September 17, that they had consumed the original $3750 that Morgan had paid to the office for documents and are now requesting between $4000 to $8000 in additional payments," said Morgan's office on Wednesday.

According to Morgan, “The original $3750 has garnered only invoices for years 2013 through 2016.  Many of these documents show limited information. Invoice and project numbers have been redacted that make organizing and understanding the connection between documents difficult and tedious. “

Morgan released the following statement:

“It appears that every document contains redactions, in many cases of the most mundane information.  I can only surmise that the Attorney General’s goal was to give me as little value as possible for the money I have supplied. Each redaction takes time and I have no doubt that they employed the tactic liberally in order to make each document take extra time. I have received no documents related to 2017-2018 or the new Background check building. There are no emails associated with the invoices, no RFP’s, no Needs Assessments that indicate the wholesale need to replace the entire computer system, purchase high end tablets with accessories, purchase lapel pins with AG Kilmartin’s name on them, or build an entirely new building to process background checks.

The Attorney General has supplemented his regular budget with a large, but because of partial records impossible to determine, amount of funds for operating costs.  He has used the funds to pay his electric, heating, water, sewer and telephone bills; to wash windows, sweep a non-existent parking lot, hire plumbers to fix a faulty toilet chain and unplug a clogged kitchen sink, among many other maintenance and utility costs.

Operating expenses were expressly excluded from accepted uses of the Google Settlement funds. Their inclusion brings up several other questions.  What justification did the Attorney General give to the US Department of Justice to use them for on-going expenses? What did he use the regular funds in his budget for?

We also seek all communications with the US Department of Justice to discover his argument for using the money for an expressly prohibited purpose.  We will also investigate his use of regular funds; the Attorney General’s budget has not decreased due to the addition of Google funds to pay the operating expenses of the Office. Where did that money go?

I must return to Superior Court to argue this blatant attempt of the Attorney General to hide his use of the Google funds from the public. It is clear to me that he is employing every possible tactic to prevent a thorough examination of his actions. This cannot be allowed.  The Google money is double the amount of money that was involved in 38Studios. The public deserves to understand how it was spent.

I was difficult for me to pay the original $3750 from my own funds.  I felt it was necessary because the Attorney General’s office, knowing my time in office is limited, was using an arsenal of tactics to slow the process and prevent the release of the documents.  I am disturbed, and every Rhode Islander should be alarmed, that they have not only provided so few documents responsive to my request, but are no demanding double to triple that amount of money with no assurances that all documents will be released.

I will once again ask the Superior Court to waive the fees for the production of documents.  It is within the Court’s power to bring sunshine to the use of the Google funds, which have been spent with no meaningful oversight or accountability.

If the Courts do not rule in my favor, I will be establishing a GoFundMe page to help with the cost. I hope other concerned citizens will help me defray the cost of making all the documents public.  The page is entitled: Google Settlement Transparency.

My time in office has convinced me that whenever government creates a pool of money, insiders put their hands in it. Those in charge will go to great lengths to hide its misuse. 38Studios is instructive. Democrats have circled their wagons around the Attorney General’s office. No elected official has joined me in calling for the release of the documents. It appears that The Office of the Attorney General means to wait me out, knowing my time in office is now limited.  It is alarming. But there are other good, principled Republicans who are willing to take up the charge. I hope voters will elect these candidates so this investigation can continue.”

 

Related Slideshow: GoLocal Statewide Poll - Conducted by Harvard’s Della Volpe - June, 2018

View Larger +
Prev Next

Registered Voters

Q1: Are you registered to vote in Rhode Island?

Total 501 100%
Yes: 501 100%
No: 0 0%
Don't know: 0 0%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Gender

Q2: Are you ...
Total
Total: 100%
Male: 44%
Female: 56%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Age

Q3: In which age group are you?

18-24:  7%
25-34:  16%
35-44:  15%
45-54:  20%
55-64: 17%
65+      25%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Political Party

Q4: When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

Democrat: 38%
Republican:14%
Moderate: 6%
Unaffiliated: 39%
Don't know/Refused: 3%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Likely Voters

Q5: Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices.  How likely is it that you will vote in this election?   Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...

 

Definitely be voting.............................. 81%

Probably be voting............................... 19%

All others.............................................   0%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Top Issue

Q6: What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
 

Taxes.................................................. .18%

Jobs and economy.............................. 16%

State budget.........................................11%

Roads...................................................10%

Education............................................  8%

Healthcare...........................................  5%

Corruption/Public integrity.................... 4%

Immigration..........................................  4%

Housing.............................................. ..2%

Governor............................................. ..2%

Homelessness.......................................1%

 

Other.. ............................................... 14%

Don’t know..........................................   6%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Direction

Q7: In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?
 

Right track........................................... 19%

Wrong track......................................... 36%

Mixed.................................................. 45%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Optimism

Q8: Thinking ahead several years, is your outlook about Rhode Island more optimistic or more pessimistic?   
 

Optimistic............................................ 52%

Pessimistic...........................................48%
 

View Larger +
Prev Next

Finances

Q9: Over the last three years or so, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?
 

Changed for the better......................... 24%

Changed for the worse......................... 33%

Not changed at all................................ 43%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q10: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Gina Raimondo, a Democrat

I am sure to vote for her:  9%

There is a good chance I will vote for her:  19%

It is possible that I vote for her:  24%

It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  18%

I will never vote for her:  31%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q11: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Matt Brown, a Democrat

I am sure to vote for him:  4%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

It is possible that I vote for him:  40%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  30%

I will never vote for him:  17%
 

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q12: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Spencer Dickinson, a Democrat

I am sure to vote for him:  3%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  7%

It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

I will never vote for him:  18%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q13: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Paul Roselli, a Democrat 

I am sure to vote for him:  2%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  7%

It is possible that I vote for him:  35%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  37%

I will never vote for him:  19%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q14: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Allan Fung, a Republican 

I am sure to vote for him:  7%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  18%

It is possible that I vote for him:  28%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  25%

I will never vote for him:  21%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q15: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Patricia Morgan, a Republican 

I am sure to vote for her:  3%

There is a good chance I will vote for her.:   9%

It is possible that I vote for her:  32%

It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  35%

I will never vote for her:  21%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q16: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Giovanni Feroce, a Republican 

I am sure to vote for him:  2%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  5%

It is possible that I vote for him:  24%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

I will never vote for him:  34%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q17: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Luis-Daniel Muñoz, an Independent

I am sure to vote for him:  3%

There is a good chance I will vote for him: 6%

It is possible that I vote for him: 33%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him: 38%

I will never vote for him: 21%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q18: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Joe Trillo, an Independent

I am sure to vote for him:  1%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  34%

I will never vote for him:  19%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 33%

Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 33%

Joe Trillo, and Independent.................. 16%

Don't know     18%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?         

Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 39%

Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

Joe Trillo, an Independent................... 19%

Don't know ......................................... 22%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q21: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote? 

Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 35%

Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 25%

Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 14%

Don't know .......................................... 27%
 

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q22: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 30%

Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 18%

Don't know .......................................... 33%

View Larger +
Prev Next

U.S. Senate

Q23: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Nardolillo - for whom would you vote?

Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........... 53%

Robert 'Bobby' Nardolillo, a Republican.. 31%

Don't know............................................... 16%

View Larger +
Prev Next

U.S. Senate

Q24: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Flanders - for whom would you vote?           

Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........ 54%

Robert Flanders, a Republican............. 32%

Don't know.......................................... 14%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Schools

Q25: If there was an election today, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $250 million in financing supported general obligation bonds to repair Rhode Island's deteriorating school buildings and bring them up to minimum standards called "warm, safe and dry"?

Net: Approve...................................... 74%

Definitely approve............................... 36%

Probably approve................................ 38%
 

Net: Reject......................................... 17%

Probably reject....................................   9%

Definitely reject....................................   7%


Don't know..........................................   9%

View Larger +
Prev Next

PawSox

Q26: The Rhode Island General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium, hoping to bring a vote before the House and Senate this summer.  

In general, do you favor or oppose the use of public funds to help finance a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox?
 

Net: Favor.......................................... 33%

Strongly favor...................................... 13%

Somewhat favor.................................. 21%
 

Net: Oppose....................................... 59%

Somewhat oppose.............................. 21%

Strongly oppose.................................. 38%
 

Don't know..........................................   8%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Fane Tower

Q27: The City of Providence and the state of Rhode Island are considering a proposal by New York developer Jason Fane to build a 46-story luxury residence tower in Providence, next to a public riverfront park.  The developer will invest $250 to $300 million of his own funds.  The project is called the Hope Point Tower, it would be 170-feet taller than the Superman building and would require waiving height restrictions and the use of state tax credits.

In general, do you favor or oppose development of the Hope Point Tower?

 

Net: Favor.......................................... 39%

Strongly favor...................................... 13%

Somewhat favor.................................. 27%


Net: Oppose....................................... 50%

Somewhat oppose.............................. 23%

Strongly oppose.................................. 27%


Don't know.......................................... 11%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Elorza/Traffic Cameras

Q28: How would you rate the job that Mayor Jorge Elorza has done managing issues related to speed cameras in Providence?

Net: Excellent/Good.......................... 26%

Excellent.............................................   6%

Good................................................... 20%

Net: Fair/Poor.................................... 74%

Fair...................................................... 29%

Poor.................................................... 45%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Q29: Since it was launched in 2016, UHIP -- the Rhode Island program designed to improve customer service for those who receive federal benefits -- has run into significant problems, including long lines, cost overruns, lost applications, over- and under-charging of patients and families.   

Based on what you know at this time, what percent of 
blame for this do you assign to:
 

Deloitte, the consulting company who
produced the system........................... 53.3%

Governor Gina Raimondo, who has
been governor since the system
launch in September 2016................... 47.1%

View Larger +
Prev Next

NIMBYism

Q30: Presently, there are local groups opposing the development of a natural gas facility in Burrillville, solar projects in Exeter, a LNG facility in Providence and wind projects in North Kingstown. 
Some people say that it is important for local groups to play a role in opposition 
of projects like these that could be dangerous or harmful to citizens; 

Others say that local groups have gone too far to the detriment of the state’s long-term energy needs. 

Which statement comes closer to your own view?

 

Local groups play an important role...... 46%

Local groups have gone too far............. 31%

Not sure................................................. 24%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Corruption

Q31: Compared to other states, do you think there is:

More political corruption in RI................. 63%

Less political corruption in RI................   7%

About the same level as other states..... 30%
 

View Larger +
Prev Next

Income

Q32: The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS.  Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).  

$50,000 or less.................................... 33%

More $50,000 but less than $75,000..... 18%

More $75,000 but less than $100,000... 16%

More $100,000 but less than $150,000. 13%

$150,000 or more................................ 10%

Don't know/refused.............................. 10%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Ethnicity

Q33: What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?  

Net: White, Non-Hispanic..................... 82%

Black or African American....................   6%

Latino/Hispanic....................................   5%

Other....................................................   7%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Geography

Q34: City/Town Into Region.

West Bay............................................ 28%

Metro-Providence................................ 28%

Blackstone Valley................................ 21%

South County...................................... 10%

East Bay............................................. 13%

 
 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
 

Sign Up for the Daily Eblast

I want to follow on Twitter

I want to Like on Facebook

Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox