What did McKee pay Holly $1,500 a month for during the election?
Kathy Gregg reports in the Providence Journal that the person who collected the nomination signatures for Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos’s congressional run that are being scrutinized as fraudulent in multiple communities is Holly Cekala McClaren, who is the Holly with the (found to be exaggerated) Rhode Island accent in Governor Dan McKee’s dark and disgusting “you’re not from here” commercial.
A quick Internet search finds a woman appearing to be the same Holly tangled up in controversy in New Hampshire for mismanagement of a drug recovery center in 2017, with one angle having a similar feel to the election-signature matter:
She and others I spoke with tied a lot of problems to former Executive Director Holly Cekala.
Parenteau says Cekala pushed employees to become certified recovery support workers – something required in order to allow HOPE to bill insurance companies.
But Parenteau says Cekala signed off on that certification for her and others without actually doing the necessary supervision.
“I needed 500 hours supervised in order to get that and within two weeks they gave me my 500 hours,” she said.
Another interesting detail comes from the state of Rhode Island’s campaign finance database. Unsurprisingly, Holly Ceckala donated $75 to McKee’s campaign across March and June last year. That investment was hugely overbalanced by the money she subsequently received from the campaign.
Starting in July, the governor’s campaign paid her $1,500 a month, with a final, $200-heavier payment in September. During this time, Cekala took in another $1,910 from Anastasia Williams, who lost her race for reelection to the General Assembly in the Democrat primary, and $400 from Democrat Providence City Council member Shelley Peterson, who won. House District 5 candidate Diana Garlington, who also lost in the Democrat primary, paid a Holly Cekala $585, although the address of the payee is different.
That’s at least $7,010 over three months paid to Cekala for “Consultant & Professional Services” and “Employee Services” (on Williams’s report).
For what was she being paid? Collecting ballots, perhaps? And is she on the payroll of Matos’s campaign?
Featured image by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash.