2014-10-23 / Opinion

Ethics Investigation Moves Forward

To the Editor:

The Rhode Island Ethics Commission has established that my recent ethics complaint filed against Middletown Councilor Paul Rodrigues for voting on his sister’s salary was more than just politics, as Rodrigues would like to suggest. In the words of the Ethics Commission, the “complaint alleges facts sufficient to constitute a violation of the provisions of the Rhode Island Code of Ethics.” And, as a result, they are going to conduct a full investigation as to how and why Rodrigues would be voting on his sister’s salary.

I had expected Rodrigues to offer an apology or acknowledgment of responsibility to the taxpayers of Middletown. Unfortunately, Rodrigues blames everyone but himself for his poor ethical behavior. He could have at least acknowledged the appearance of an impropriety; it is very poor politics to avoid taking responsibility for one’s mistakes, especially a serious ethics charge.

I only hope this will shed light on the current landscape of Middletown Council elections; I know it has for me. I noticed that Rodrigues is running separately from the usually unified sevenmember Democratic team; likely because they had not supported him for chairmanship after the last election.

Paul Rodrigues has chosen to campaign separately with his cousin, Richard Rodrigues, and a new friend, Melody Mulcahey, in an obvious attempt to create his own voting bloc to reacquire the chairmanship he so badly desires.

I was disappointed that Rodrigues’ cousin and Mulcahey declined to participate in Wednesday night’s candidates’ forum. Could it be that they did not appear because the seating was alphabetical, and they were too embarrassed to be seen seated in a row; Melody, and the Rodrigues cousins? Or maybe that would have made Mr. Rodrigues, family voting bloc a bit too obvious, so better to hide it from the voters. Or maybe Cousin Rodrigues and Melody just aren’t really interested in discussing town issues.

I, for one, will not be voting for the Rodrigues cousins or his voting bloc. I urge the Middletown voters this election, if you are concerned about ethical government and dislike family control and cronyism, reject Paul Rodrigues, his cousin and his family voting bloc.

Charlie Vaillancourt

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