Attorney General Neronha Statement on Decision Issued by Superior Court Justice Daniel A. Procaccini in State v. Jeffrey Britt
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha issued the following statement this morning:
“I respect the Court’s decision, and especially want to thank Judge Procaccini and the Superior Court staff for making the trial of this important case possible during the ongoing pandemic.
“In October of 2019, I believed that it was important to bring this case, as charged, and remain convinced of that today. This case was about one thing: standing behind Rhode Island’s campaign finance transparency laws, and the Board of Elections’ ability to enforce them. The public has a right to know who really is providing support to candidates for public office. That transparency allows them to judge the motivations of those who support and endorse candidates, and to recognize potential conflicts of interest, before and after an election.
“Whether a case involves $1,000, or more than that, is of no moment. What matters are these core principles of electoral integrity and whether we are prepared to defend them, through the legal tools at our disposal, or not.
“Notwithstanding the outcome in this case, this Office will continue to aggressively fight for transparency and integrity in our elections. The evidence introduced at trial plainly demonstrated just how critical that fight is. Politics doesn’t need to be a dirty business. It doesn’t need to involve soliciting fake donors to create an illusion of an independent endorsement. It doesn’t need to involve complex schemes designed to deceive voters.
“As I said when the charges in this case were announced, ensuring the integrity of elections is, in the first instance, the responsibility of the Board of Elections, and typically the involvement of this Office is not necessary. However, when an individual turns a Board of Elections investigation into an endless, circus-like chase for the truth, as happened here, then this Office will use all the legal tools at its disposal to seek justice on behalf of the people of Rhode Island.”