Republicans want probe of Raimondo aide’s alleged threat

Brett Smiley. File photo

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island Republicans are asking state ethics officials to investigate whether Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s chief of staff threatened a casino executive in connection with a lottery contract extension.

The state Republican Party on Tuesday added the request to a previously filed ethics complaint, which alleges there was a conflict when Raimondo negotiated a proposed 20-year extension of International Game Technology’s contract to run lottery and casino games.

Twin River casino executive vice president Marc Crisafulli has alleged Raimondo’s chief of staff, Brett Smiley, threatened “consequences” if casino officials opposed the contract extension. Raimondo says no threats were made.

Twin River wants the right to bid on the contract, which could be worth $1 billion.

Raimondo and IGT lobbyist Donald Sweitzer both serve on the Democratic Governors Association.