Former Rhode Island State Rep. Peter Palumbo, a Cranston Democrat, in plea deal with the attorney general’s office in a campaign finance case, has been found guilty of unlawful appropriation of more than $1,000 from his campaign fund, sentenced to probation and ordered pay restitution.
Under the agreement approved by Superior Court Judge Joseph Montalbano Palumbo will pay about $31,000 in restitution to the state, beginning with a $10,000 payment made today. The rest will be paid off in three years in monthly installments of about $587. Palumbo also received a three year suspended sentence with probation.
“The public demands and deserves their elected officials abide by the law,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, a Pawtucket Democrat who once served in the R.I. House with Palumbo.
“When they break the law, like former representative Palumbo admitted doing, they break the trust of their constituents and build contempt for our government as a whole,” said Kilmartin.
Palumbo’s lawyer, former Democratic State Rep. Peter Petrarca of Lincoln, said Palumbo had a gambling problem.
The case is emblematic of Rhode Island’s close-knit political culture. Kilmartin, Palumbo, Petrarca and Judge Montalbano all served together in the General Assembly. Kilmartin, Petrarca and Palumbo were in the House while Montalbano was in the Senate.
Palumbo was arrested in January, 2017 by the Rhode Island State Police.