One-time legislative candidate faces embezzlement charge

Laufton Ascencao is seen in this booking photo provided by the Rhode Island State Police

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A man who won a seat in the Rhode Island state legislature but resigned before being sworn in faces charges of embezzling from the state chapter of the Sierra Club and failing to report campaign expenditures.

The state attorney general announced Tuesday that Democrat Laufton Ascencao, without authorization, diverted more than $16,000 from the Rhode Island Chapter of the Sierra Club while he was serving as treasurer of that organization.

Prosecutors say he used the money to pay for expenses during his 2018 campaign.

Ascencao is scheduled to be arraigned on July 15. An email was left with his attorney.