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Hodgson Rips Kilmartin Over $45,000 in Office Renovations

Friday, October 17, 2014

 

Dawson Hodgson

Republican candidate for Attorney General Dawson Hodgson has blasted Democratic opponent and current Attorney General Peter Kilmartin for spending over $45,000 in 2011 for renovating the office.

"This expense illustrates Peter's priorities.  Instead of taking action on the issues he campaigned on, like fixing the crime lab, he spent his limited resources on office renovations," said Hodgson.  "Alongside his patronage hires and excessive PR costs, this is part of a troubling pattern."

See Renovation Costs HERE 

Hodgson, an attorney who currently serves a State Senator for District 35 representing East Greenwich, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, and Narragansett, was first elected to General Assembly in 2008.  Kilmartin was elected as Attorney General in 2010, after serving as a State Representative since 1990.  

Costs Outlined, Questioned

In an Access to Public Records Act (APRA) request sent on October 1, Hodgson asked for information on the 'costs and expenses’ for interior renovation [and] construction on the Department of Attorney General building at 150 South Main Street in Providence – 3rd Floor -- during calendar year 2011.” 

Hodgson received the response on Thursday.  

"Attached please find a spreadsheet responsive to your request for “costs and expenses” relating to interior renovations to the entire third floor at the Department of Attorney General during calendar year 2011.  No requested information was exempted or redacted.  You should be advised that the attached spreadsheet not only includes “renovation[s],” but also includes the costs of “repairs” and that the description of “renovations” also includes in some cases “repairs” that cannot be segregated from “renovations.”

The line items listed include charges for renovations to conference rooms, bathrooms, carpeting, as well as capital projects.  

Some of the expenses outlined in the APRA request.

"Over the past twelve years prior to 2011, there had been leaks into both the Attorney General's office and the conference room.  The transition between administrations was the most logical time to address those issues," said Amy Kempe, Public Information Officer in the Attorney General's office.  "Among the issues to be repaired were several wall panels that had warped due to wetness.  When those were removed, additional damage was discovered."

"It is the Attorney General's responsibility to ensure a safe and professional work environment for all of the dedicated and hard working employees of the Office. Further, The Attorney General has an obligation to the State and bond holders to maintain the building," said Kempe.  "The Attorney General has come in under budget each year of his term."

"With totals just over $45,000, there's no way for me to delineate necessary maintenance and repair," said Hodgson.  "As you know, we've spent some time this week examining Peter's misplaced focus on perks, patronage, and public relations."

While none of the vendors appeared to have made political donations directly to Kilmartin, records show that Lynn Kent with Robert Audet Inc, who did electrical and lighting work, has given over $4,700 in contributions to candidates and officials since 2006, including over $2,000 to the Associated Builders and Contractors of Rhode Island; Alfred Kelley with Kelly Floor Covering has donated over $1,700 to candidates since 2002, and Mario Lagoa with Legacy General Contracting made just one contribution -- $400 to Jorge Elorza's campaign.  

In particular, Hodgson pointed out PR expenses in Kilmartin's office.  "[Kilmartin's] Public Information Officer is paid $128-thousand per year.  The fifth highest paid employee of the Office of Attorney General, the PIO earns more than 66 of the 68 attorneys in the office’s Criminal Division."

 

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