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Group says Senate was ‘making up’ process to oust lawmaker

February 23, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A government reform group says a lack of clarity meant that Rhode Island lawmakers trying to oust a state senator charged with extorting a teen for sex were “making up the process as they went along.”

Coventry Republican Nicholas Kettle resigned Thursday after Senate leaders introduced a resolution aiming to force him out of the chamber.

The state constitution permits the Senate and House to expel members with a two-thirds majority, but no lawmaker has been expelled in the 175 years since it took effect.

John Marion, the head of Common Cause Rhode Island, tells WPRI-TV that lawmakers should establish a transparent expulsion process to ensure they are prepared in the future.

Kettle is charged with extorting a Statehouse page for sex on two occasions. He calls the allegations unfounded.

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