AG-Elect Neronha Leases Space from Democratic National Committeeman Paolino

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


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Neronha's transition team leases from Democratic national committeeman Paolino

Rhode Island’s Attorney General-Elect Peter Neronha is leasing office space from Democratic National Committeeman and former Providence Mayor Joe Paolino.

The space at 33 Broad Street is owned by Weybosset Hill Investments — a limited liability corporation managed by Paolino. Space was selected by the Department of Administration. And Neronha's staff denies that the selection creates the appearance of a conflict of interest. 

The office space is being used by Neronha’s transition team. Neronha is a former U.S. Attorney and his office was in another Paolino building. Neronha is a Democrat."With respect to transition, the Attorney General-Elect is committed to building a team of smart, dedicated personnel that can implement his vision of how the Office can best serve the people of Rhode Island. Every decision has been and will be guided by this principle, and nothing else, Said Blake Collins on the Neronha transition team.

Both Paolino and his wife donated $1,000 each to Neronha's campaign.

The U.S. Attorney’s office has been located in 100 Westminster Street building. That space was contracted via the General Services Administration.

Paolino is one of the largest real estate developers in Providence. It is unclear if the arrangement was publicly bid out.

Providence -- and RI -- Commercial Space

According to data provided by real estate firm Hayes and Sherry there is approximately 12 percent vacancy in downtown Providence. Other commercial real estate firms cite that vacancy rates in Northern Rhode Island are over 20 percent.

The building, which is located downtown, is adjacent to Empire and the top of Weybosset Streets. The building is assessed on the City of Providence’s tax roll at $9.2 million. Much of the building was formerly used by Johnson and Wales.

Updates 11/14/18 at 5 am.


Related Slideshow: Election Night 2018: Photos of Democratic Heaven and GOP Hell in RI


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