A Swiss Cheese of Ethics
Frankly, it’s more than a little convenient that so much attention has recently fallen on various eyebrow-raising actions of Judge Frank Caprio, Sr., in his capacity as chairman of the Board of Governors for Higher Education just as his namesake son is running for the office of governor. Still, this is pretty egregious:
Last week, the [ethics] commission’s former executive director, Sara M. Quinn, had filed a complaint with the board, asserting that in his role as chairman of the Board of Governors for Higher Education, the municipal court judge helped to arrange a $41,000 job for Donna Mesolella, wife of former Rep. Vincent Mesolella, just a month before the couple held a fundraiser at their Lincoln home. The event raised $30,000 for the campaign of his son, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank T. Caprio.
Caprio handed the former rep’s wife’s resume to an employee who answers to the commission for his job. Yet, the Ethics Commission’s current executive director, Kent Willever, notes that Caprio Sr. did not stand to gain, financially, and was not related to the Moselellas, so no violation occurred.
In Rhode Island, we turn a blind eye to legislators who explicitly sell their votes and, now, to a corrupt system of insiders who cycle the state’s offices and resources around to each other — as long as they’re all one step removed from handing each other taxpayer cash.