Rhode Island Ethics Commission to probe lawmaker’s beach bid

The Rhode Island Ethics Commission voted Tuesday to investigate whether a state lawmaker violated ethics rules by bidding on a contract for beach concessions. The Providence Journal reported that the commission wants to investigate bids by Representative Peter Palumbo for contracts at Scarborough, Roger Wheeler, and Misquamicut state beaches. The government watchdog group Common Cause Rhode Island filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission after reports that the Cranston Democrat bid in 2013 to host the concessions. Palumbo was the high bidder for the five-year contract but backed out, leaving David Caprio, then chairman of the Democratic Party, as the next highest bidder. Caprio then hired Palumbo to run the stands. He paid $226,640 less than Palumbo bid. State Police are investigating. Palumbo did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. (AP)