Councilman Jackson recalled in Ward 3

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Embattled Providence City Councilman Kevin Jackson has become the first politician in city history to be recalled from office.

Unofficial results from the Providence Board of Canvassers show residents from Ward 3 on the city’s East Side voted 1,772 to 158 to remove Jackson from office during a special election Tuesday.

The lopsided results came in from each of the ward’s three polling places. At Summit Commons, 721 voted to recall and 34 voted no; at the Church of the Redeemer, 890 voted yes and 56 voted no; and at the Vincent Brown Recreation Center, 161 voted yes and 56 voted no.

The results must still be certified by the board later this month. A special election will be set 90 days after the City Council formally declares Jackson’s seat vacant.

Jackson, a 58-year-old Democrat who has represented Ward 3 since 1995, was arrested by State Police last May and indicted by a statewide grand jury in July. He has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors allege Jackson 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.

A group of Ward 3 constituents led by Tricia Kammerer launched the recall effort last September by securing the necessary 300 signatures from voters in the ward to begin the process. The group then successfully obtained more than 2,000 signatures to force Tuesday’s recall vote.

Jackson was the council’s longest-serving member.

Voting kicked off at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning in three polling places across Ward 3, which stretches from the University Heights apartment complex off of North Main Street all the way north to the Pawtucket line.

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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