State police confirm probe of Rhode Island state senator
COVENTRY, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island State police confirmed Tuesday they’re investigating a state senator from Coventry, but did not reveal why.
Lt. Col. Joseph Philbin told the Providence Journal there is “an active investigation” into state Sen. Nicholas Kettle. He confirmed state police detectives went to the Republican’s home early Tuesday.
Kettle’s attorney, Paul DiMaio, told WPRI-TV and the Providence Journal that police executed a search warrant, but it has “nothing to do” with Kettle’s work as a lawmaker. DiMaio says it’s the “result of a breakup in a relationship with a girlfriend, or it caused the breakup.”
DiMaio told WPRI-TV he doesn’t think Kettle will be charged with a crime but speculated the lawmaker may resign from the General Assembly.
“He doesn’t want all this hanging over his head while he tries to do business up there,” DiaMaio told the Providence Journal, referring to the legislature. Kettle was absent from the start of the Senate session on Tuesday.
Kettle did not return phone calls to the media on Tuesday or answer the door at his home.
The 27-year-old was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He represents the towns of Coventry, Foster, Scituate and West Greenwich. He was considered one of the youngest senators elected in Rhode Island when he first took office.
His legislative webpage states he is a graduate of Coventry High School and is pursuing a degree in history/political science at Rhode Island College with the intent of becoming a teacher.
Kettle agreed in December to pay a $2,000 fine and forfeit $4,000 from his campaign to settle a dispute over campaign finance violations.