Steve Frias: What did the Speaker know and when did he know it?

Nicholas Mattiello

Steven Frias, Republican candidate for House District 15 is challenging Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in the General Election on November 6, 2018. He released the following press release:

Yesterday, the Rhode Island Board of Elections voted to refer a potential violation of Rhode Island campaign finance law by Mattiello campaign operative Jeff Britt to the Rhode Island Attorney General. According to documents submitted to the Board of Elections, former Mattiello campaign operative Jeff Britt, with the assistance of current Mattiello campaign consultant Matt Jerzyk, coordinated with Shawna Lawton to send out an endorsement mailer. During the WPRI/Channel 12 debate on November 4, 2016, Speaker Mattiello stated in reference to the Lawton endorsement controversy: “After the story broke, I talked to folks in the campaign and nobody mentioned a particular issue. … Nobody in my campaign has any knowledge of that issue.”

See video below, at the seven minute mark:

“Mattiello misled the public during the debate,” said Frias. “At the time of the debate, either Mattiello knew that Mr Britt and Mr Jerzyk had played a role in the Lawton mailer and he was trying to cover it up, or Mr Britt and Mr Jerzyk had lied to Mattiello about their involvement with the Lawton mailer. The most logical answer is that at the time of the debate, Mattiello knew his campaign team had coordinated with Lawton. If Mr Britt and Mr Jerzyk had lied to Mattiello about the Lawton mailer, then why would Mattiello have hired Mr Jerzyk to work again on his campaign or allowed the Rhode Island Democratic Party, which is controlled by Mattiello, to hire Britt earlier this year? When it comes to the Lawton mailer, the simple question is: What did the Speaker know and when did he know it?

“Mr Britt should cooperate with the Attorney General and tell the public what he knows about the type of campaign Rhode Island’s most powerful politician ran in 2016. It is time to end the cover up.”

[From a press release]

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