Group seeking to recall Councilman Jackson won’t name donors

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The group of East Side residents seeking to recall embattled Councilman Kevin Jackson spent about $2,400 on their cause between September and February, but it won’t name the individuals contributing to the campaign.

In an independent expenditure disclosure filed with the R.I. Board of Elections on Monday, the Recall Kevin Jackson group reported it spent $2,400 on legal fees, its website, postage and other supplies as it collected signatures of Ward 3 residents hoping to remove Jackson from office.

Patricia Kammerer, who is leading the recall effort, said more than 50 people have donated $5,200, but state law does not require the group to disclose donors if they contribute less than $1,000 to the cause.

“This report was filed in compliance with the law, the same set of laws that Kevin Jackson flouted for years by failing to file, filing late, and according to a grand jury indictment, filing false information,” Kammerer told Eyewitness News.

The Providence Board of Canvassers certified more than 2,300 signatures last week, triggering a special election where voters will be asked to vote up or down on Jackson’s political future. The board asked the City Council to hold a special meeting this week to schedule the election for May 2, but Council President Luis Aponte said Wednesday the matter will appear on the agenda at a regularly scheduled meeting next week.

Jackson, 58, has represented Ward 3 since 1995. He was arrested by State Police last May and indicted by a statewide grand jury last July. He has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors allege he embezzled $127,153 from the Providence Cobras youth track-and-field team, an organization that received more than $67,000 in taxpayer-funded city donations between 2005 and 2015. He is also accused of using $12,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses.

Following the arrest, Jackson resigned as majority leader of the City Council, but did not step down from the council altogether. He has regularly appeared at council meetings and committee meetings in the nine months since he was charged.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan