Ex-RI Rep. Palumbo pleads not guilty in campaign finance case

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former state Rep. Peter Palumbo pleaded not guilty in Providence County Superior Court Wednesday to charges he allegedly used campaign funds for personal use, according to Amy Kempe, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

Rhode Island State Police said that Palumbo, 56, allegedly withdrew money from his campaign account at several casino ATMs across the country. Investigators claimed that Palumbo could not account for approximately $59,000 that was withdrawn from his campaign account.

The Cranston Democrat was arrested by police in January following a state police investigation. Following his arrest, Palumbo was released on $5,000 personal recognizance.

According to the attorney general’s office, Palumbo was previously indicted by a statewide grand jury for one count of embezzlement and one count of unlawful appropriation over $1,000. Both crimes are felonies in the state of Rhode Island.

Palumbo’s indictment also included one misdemeanor charge of personal use of campaign funds, according to the attorney general’s office.

The R.I. Board of Elections referred Palumbo’s case to the attorney general after discovering potential irregularities in his campaign account.

Palumbo’s first pretrial conference is scheduled for August 16, according to Amy Kempe, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.