State Ethics Commission Dismisses Complaint Against House Majority Leader John DeSimone

Aug 16, 2016

John DeSimone
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday unanimously voted to dismiss an ethics complaint filed against House Majority Leader John DeSimone.

"The complaint did not provide sufficient information to make out a knowing and willful violation of the [state Ethics] Code," commission spokesman Jason Gramitt said in an email. "The dismissal was ‘without prejudice,' which means that the complainant could re-file a complaint at a later date. However, we have now entered the 90-day moratorium period so any re-filing would have to occur after the November elections."

The complaint was filed by the Rhode Island Progress Democrats. They contend that DeSimone failed to disclose a series of outstanding tax payments on his ethics filing.

When the complaint was filed, DeSimone said the Progressive Democrats -- who back his primary opponent, Marcia Ranglin-Vassell -- had a political motivation for making it. DeSimone said his tax payments are current, and he did not think the outstanding past payments needed to be listed on his ethics filing with the state.

"I am pleased the commission unanimously voted to dismiss this complaint, which was frivolous, baseless, and politically motivated." DeSimone said in a statement.