Tel: (401) 222-2259
Date: March 15, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Representative Dan Reilly Disputes Constitutionality of RhodeWorks
and Wants Copy of RIDOT Legal Opinion
Rhode Island Taxpayers on the Hook for $450,000.00 but
RI DOT Refuses to Share Legal Opinion with House Finance Committee
STATE HOUSE -- Representative Dan Reilly (R-District, 72 Middletown, Portsmouth) has filed an APRA request with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, for the legal opinion, relating to work the out of state Connecticut based law firm Hawkins, Delafield & Wood, LLP conducted on state business, which is costing Rhode Island taxpayers nearly half a million dollars.
“The Rhode Island Department of Transportation claims RhodeWorks is constitutional, but refuses to tell us why,” said Reilly. “During a recorded House Finance Committee hearing on Feb. 3, 2016, DOT Director Peter Alviti agreed to provide me RI DOT’s legal analysis of the RhodeWorks program; however, following the House toll vote, Director Alviti refused to provide any clarifying information or legal opinions provided to RI DOT in a letter dated March 9, 2016, citing ‘privilege.’”
"I do not agree,” continued Reilly. “I call on the RI DOT to waive the right to privilege, to provide the legal opinion, before a negative ruling from the court harms Rhode Island.”
“As a member of the House Finance Committee, and an elected member of the House of Representatives, it is my job to look out for the hardworking taxpayers of my district and all Rhode Islanders. I am disappointed, that Director Alviti has failed to keep this process open and transparent, after saying he would,” said Reilly. “Furthermore, why would the legal opinion not be given to the members of the House voting on it?”
In his request, Reilly is requesting public expense records paid or owed to the law firm Hawkins Delafield & Wood, LLP, for work it conducted on House bill 7409. Reilly seeks financial documentation, including any and all contract invoices, documents illustrating the employees who performed legal work with itemized hourly costs, an explanation for the manner in which the firm was selected, and any and all consultant bids for this contract, including information on consultants who were not awarded the contract.