Lawmaker demanding release of RIDOT legal opinion on RhodeWorks

Gov. Gina Raimondo signs her RhodeWorks bill into law at a statehouse ceremony. (Photo: Perry Russom/WPRI 12)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rep. Dan Reilly (R-Middletown, Portsmouth) disputes the assertion from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation that the controversial RhodeWorks truck-toll plan approved back in February is constitutional.

“During a recorded House Finance Committee hearing on February 3, 2016, DOT Director Peter Alviti agreed to provide me RIDOT’s legal analysis,” Reilly said Tuesday. But after a House vote on the toll proposal, Reilly claims, Alviti wouldn’t reveal the details, saying they were privileged.

Reilly said he filed an “Access to Public Records Act” request for the legal opinion, including expense records for a Connecticut law firm, Hawkins, Delafield and Wood, that consulted on the legislation.

“I am disappointed that Director Alviti has failed to keep this process open and transparent,” Reilly said.

In the past, the Department of Transportation has maintained that the legislation is legal under the current state constitution.

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