Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Peter Palumbo (age 56), of Cranston, pleaded nolo contendere today before Superior Court Justice Joseph A. Montalbano to one count of unlawful appropriation over $1,000. Under the terms of the plea, Palumbo received a three year sentence, suspended with probation. In addition, Palumbo was ordered to pay $31,150.54 in restitution to the State of Rhode Island, of which $10,000 was paid at the time of the plea and the remainder paid in monthly installments of not less than $587.52. In consideration of the plea, the State dismissed one count of embezzlement and one count of personal use of campaign funds.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that Palumbo, a former State Representative, unlawfully appropriated $31,150.54 from his campaign account for his personal use.
"The public demands and deserves their elected officials abide by the law, including our campaign finance laws. When they break the law, like former Representative Palumbo admitted doing, they break the trust of their constituents and build contempt for our government as a whole," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
The investigation was initiated by the Rhode Island Board of Elections and referred to the Office of Attorney General for an initial review, after which it was referred to the Rhode Island State Police where Detective James Brown led the criminal investigation. Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the White Collar Crime Unit Paul Carnes handled the prosecution on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.