Minutes July 29, 2020 MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION OF THE RHODE ISLAND ETHICS COMMISSION July 29, 2020 The Rhode Island Ethics Commission remotely conducted its 9th meeting of 2020 in Zoom webinar format at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, pursuant to the notice published at the Commission offices, 40 Fountain Street, Providence, Rhode Island, and electronically with the Rhode Island Secretary of State. The following Commissioners were present: Marisa A. Quinn, Chair M. Therese Antone* Arianne Corrente, Vice Chair J. Douglas Bennett Kyle P. Palumbo, Secretary Emili B. Vaziri The following Commissioners were not present: Timothy Murphy and Robert A. Salk. Also present were Herbert F. DeSimone, Jr., Commission Legal Counsel; Jason Gramitt, Commission Executive Director; Katherine D’Arezzo, Senior Staff Attorney; Lynne Radiches, Staff Attorney/Education Coordinator; Staff Attorney Teodora Popova Papa; and Commission Investigators Peter J. Mancini and Gary V. Petrarca. At 9:02 a.m., the Chairopened the meeting. The first order of business was: Discussion of Remote Meeting Format; Identifying and Troubleshooting any Remote Meeting Issues. Executive Director Gramitt explained that the Commission will convene Executive Session in a separate webinar meeting to discuss the Superior Court’s recent issuance of a decision in Francis X. Flaherty v. Rhode Island Ethics Commission et al., after which the Commission will return to Open Session to provide a live report on all actions taken in Executive Session. A written report of all actions taken in Executive Session will be published and available on the Commission’s website after the meeting ends. Copies of the written report can be also requested by calling the Commission at (401) 222-3790 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Executive Director Gramitt noted that reporters who have questions may contact him directly after the meeting concludes. *At 9:04 a.m., Commissioner Antone joined the meeting. Upon motion made by Commissioner Antone and duly seconded by Commissioner Palumbo, it was unanimously VOTED: To go into Executive Session, to wit: a.) Discussion of Superior Court Decision issued July 24, 2020 in Francis X. Flaherty v. Rhode Island Ethics Commission et al., Superior Court C.A. No. PC-2019-5088, pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-46-5(a)(2). b.) Motion to return to Open Session. At 9:51 a.m., the Commission reconvened in Open Session. The next order of business was: Report on actions taken in Executive Session. Chair Quinn reported that the Commission took the following actions in Executive Session, which information will also be available on the Commission’s website: 1. Discussed the Superior Court Decision issued July 24, 2020 in Francis X. Flaherty v. Rhode Island Ethics Commission et al., Superior Court C.A. No. PC-2019-5088. 2. Unanimously voted (6-0) to return to Open Session. The next order of business was: Motion to seal minutes of Executive Session held on July 29, 2020. Upon motion made by Commissioner Bennett and duly seconded by Commissioner Palumbo, it was unanimously VOTED: To seal the minutes of the Executive Session held on July 29, 2020. At 9:52 a.m., upon motion made by Commissioner Bennett and duly seconded by Commissioner Antone, it was unanimously VOTED: To adjourn the meeting. Respectfully submitted, _____________________________ Kyle P. Palumbo Secretary  On March 9, 2020, Governor Gina Raimondo declared a state of emergency due to the dangers to health and life posed by COVID-19. In furtherance thereof, the Governor issued Executive Order 20-46 on June 12, 2020, which, in part, continued to relieve public bodies from the prohibitions regarding the use of telephonic or electronic communication to conduct meetings set forth under the Rhode Island Open Meetings Act. On July 10, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order 20-53, which extended Order 20-46 through August 9, 2020.