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Three of Raimondo’s judicial picks move towards Senate confirmation



To no one’s surprise, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary moved three of Governor Gina Raimondo‘s picks for court seats onto the full Senate for confirmation on Tuesday. All three will now be easily confirmed by the Senate to lifetime court appointments.

Richard Merola will be an Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Family Court.

Susan Pepin Fay will be an Associate Judge of the Rhode Island Workers Compensation Court.

Keith Cardoza, Jr will be an Associate Judge of the Rhode Island Workers Compensation Court.

See: Governor Raimondo appoints a ‘diverse set of judges’ and Two State Senators express concerns about Raimondo’s judicial nominees

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The Judiciary Committee seemed unconcerned about Merola’s Rhode Island Board of Elections fines, owed because he failed to file campaign finance reports on time when unsuccessfully running for Smithfield Town Council in 2004 and 2010. See the ProJo piece here. The campaign finance reports were publicized by Senator Samuel Bell (Democrat, District 5, Providence), who does not sit on the Judiciary Committee.

Senators Frank Lombardi (Democrat, District 26, Cranston) and Erin Lynch Prata (Democrat, District 31, Warwick, Cranston) seemed unconcerned about these campaign lapses. Lynch Prata said she had “zero concerns” and Lombardi didn’t think the issue was relevant.

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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.

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