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GOP pounces on Gallison settlement

On Tuesday, Representative Ray Gallison (D-Bristol) settled with the state Ethics Commission over his failure -- for three years -- to disclose his employment with a legislatively financed nonprofit. This came not long after N4N reported that Spencer Maguire, Gallison's Republican opponent in 2006, has moved to Washington, DC.

Any connection there?

"No, it had nothing to do with that at all," says House spokesman Larry Berman. The resolution had been in the works for several months, he says, "and it has nothing to do with Maguire."

In response to the ethics settlement, RI GOP chairman Gio Cicione is calling on Speaker William J. Murphy to remove Gallison from his leadership posts as deputy majority leader, vice chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and chairman of the Municipal Government Committee. 

“Speaker Murphy talks about the need for honest government and claims he doesn’t tolerate unethical behavior if he finds out about it among legislators; it’s time he face up to one of the poster boys of unethical behavior,” Cicione says of Gallison. “The people of this state demand that Speaker Murphy step up to the plate, recognize the scope of ethics violations at work here and immediately force Gallison to step aside.” ....  

 

The investigative report that produced the settlement fine indicates Gallison failed to report that his $4,000 per month income is derived from his operation of a nonprofit educational organization, the College Readiness Program, which is completely funded with taxpayer money through legislative grant. Such grants are voted on and awarded by legislators themselves. The Ethics Commission settlement indicates Gallison, by failing to properly report the income source for three consecutive years (2000, 2001, and 2002) engaged in “intentional nondisclosure.”

Cicione also urges AG Patrick Lynch to look into the Gallison case "as a clear ethical violation of law and an abuse of public office."

 

In response to Cicione's call for Gallison to be removed from his leadership posts, Berman says he hasn't yet been able to get in touch with Murphy. "It certainly seems political," he says.

 

Regarding how Gallison failed to make the required disclosure for three years, Berman says: "He made an error and he’s taken full responsibility for the matter, and it’s been resolved. His explanation was that he made the error the first year and then he copied -- they have to do a disclosure statement every ywar -- and he copied the previous statement. .... [It was] a mistake that got perpetuated. .... As soon as it was pointed out to him, he went in and corrected it."

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