PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (WPRI) — A Providence City Council member resigns from the influential Finance Committee after being hit with campaign finance violations last month.
Juan Picciardo of the extraordinary parliament said on Thursday that his resignation from the commission would take “immediate effect” but would remain in the regular parliament.
“I have great respect for the institution and ultimately believe that it is best at this time to support the work of the commission as an advisory body,” Pisciardo said in a statement. “We are proud of the work we have accomplished as a committee this year and look forward to the work ahead on behalf of our constituents.”
City Council Speaker Rachel Miller said she accepted Mr. Pichardt’s resignation and thanked city council members for their scrutiny and his work in helping pass the city’s 2023-2024 budget.
“There is still a lot to accomplish and Pro Temporée Pichardo is an integral part of the Council team,” added Miller.
A member of the ninth district was elected vice chairman of the committee in January. He was elected to the City Council last fall and has represented Elmwood, South Providence, the West End and Washington Park.
Earlier this year, the RI Elections Commission began an audit of Picardo’s campaign finance account due to “substantial discrepancies” between his campaign finance account balance and the year-end 2022 campaign finance report.
Pisciardo was found guilty of campaign finance violations and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine, $1,500 of which must be paid by the end of 2023. The remainder is due to be paid by December 31, 2024.
The Election Commission’s election finance director Richard Thornton told Target 12 on Thursday that Mr. Pichardo had already paid $1,500 of the total fine on June 7.
In a statement last month, Mr. Pichardo said he “deeply regrets the inconvenience and disappointment of voters due to poor recordkeeping.” “I want you to know that I am fully committed to correcting these mistakes and ensuring compliance.”
Mr. Thornton said Mr. Pichardo told the board on June 20 that he had used the services of the accounting firm to help with campaign finance and reporting, but hadn’t heard anything since.
“He did not indicate his intention to resign from the Providence City Council Finance Committee until June 20,” Thornton added.
A spokeswoman for the city council did not immediately respond to additional questions about Mr. Pichardo’s resignation and the prospects for a new seat on the finance committee.
Alexandra Leslie (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Target 12 investigative reporter with 12 news covering Providence and more.connect with her twitter and facebook.