Sam Bell, state coordinator of the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America (RIPDA), filed an ethics complaint against Representative William O’Brien (District 54) last week. Bell alleges that when O’Brien ran for office in 2009 and 2011, he failed to file his first two required financial disclosure statements. Candidates are required to file financial disclosure statement for the preceding year.
A conservative Democrat from North Providence, Bill O’Brien was found to have plagiarized large portions of his website. Currently, O’Brien is facing a primary challenge from Democrat Bill Deware, a progressive and labor activist.
“Financial disclosure forms are vitally important,” said Bell in a statement, “Without them, we have no idea where politicians receive their income. Given that the [Raymond] Gallison scandal seems to be related to lawmakers’ income, tracking where politicians make their money is especially important.”