ACLU: Don’t rush to expel lawmaker accused of sex extortion
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is urging Rhode Island lawmakers to proceed with caution as they weigh expelling a state senator accused of extorting sex from a page in the Senate’s page program.
Steven Brown, the executive director of the ACLU’s Rhode Island office, said in a letter to Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio on Tuesday that a vote to oust Republican Senate Minority Whip Nicholas Kettle could set a “dangerous” precedent.
Brown says the Rhode Island Legislature has never expelled one of its members.
Ruggerio has threatened to call for an expulsion vote if Kettle doesn’t resign.
A grand jury indictment unsealed on Monday accuses Kettle of extorting a male page for sex multiple times. He also has been charged separately with video voyeurism. Kettle has denied any wrongdoing.