Name: Rep. Patricia Morgan
Tel: 401-828-4831 or Cell: 401-862-3040
February 8. 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Morgan Demands Opportunity to Finish Questioning Of DOT Director
Initial Hearing Halted by Finance Chairman
Failure to Receive and Thoroughly Examine All Information is a Violation of Fiduciary Responsibility
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Patricia Morgan (R-District 26, West Warwick, Coventry and Warwick) is requesting a delay of any vote of the House Finance Committee until she has been given the opportunity to finish her questioning of Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti.
On Thursday, Feb. 4 the Governor's tolling plan was heard in the House Finance Committee. The Director was summoned before the committee to answer questions.
When it was Rep. Morgan's turn to question Director Alviti, Chairman Gallison cut-off her questioning of Director Alviti, leaving many key issues unanswered., she said. Chairman Gallison promised Rep. Morgan that she would be allowed to finish her inquiry. However, the Rhode Works bill is now scheduled for a vote on Tuesday without the opportunity to question Director Alviti.
"I have studied the tolling plan and the budget for the last 8 months," stated Rep. Morgan. "With the Republican Policy Group, I helped craft an alternative plan to repair our bridges that would responsibly avoid tolls. I have thoroughly studied all the issues and must be allowed to explore significant inconsistencies and clarify unknown information."
"I was assured by Chairman Gallison (D-Bristol) that I would be permitted to have all my questions answered. Moreover, House leadership wanted me in attendance as I have voiced concerns about the tolling proposal," Morgan continued. "Unfortunately, I was not allowed to finish my inquiry. I requested the Director remain available to respond to additional questions, but the opportunity never came. At midnight, Chairman Gallison moved to adjourn the meeting."
"At that time, I again protested and was assured by the Chairman that another hearing would be scheduled. Unfortunately, that promise appears to have been tossed aside. The official committee vote on the Governor's Toll legislation has been scheduled without recalling the Director to testify. This is not acceptable in an inquiry which purports to seek honest and thorough information."
"Additionally, there is a list of documents and data promised to the Finance Committee by the Director. To date, these materials have not been received, had documents been provided it would have left little time to study and understand their contents."
"The People of Rhode Island deserve to have the Director respond to all committee questioning. Answering them may be uncomfortable for the Department, but that fact alone should make us hesitant to approve a policy of this magnitude before obtaining truthful answers and verifiable information. To do less is irresponsible to all Rhode Islanders and a violation of our fiduciary duty to the public."
"I expect to be given an opportunity to complete my examination of the issue and call for a delay in any vote until it is arranged," said Morgan.
Letter to Chairman Ray Gallison sent 2/6/216 at 7:12 AM is included.