PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former state Rep. John Carnevale – who dropped out of a reelection campaign after questions about where he lived were raised in a Target 12 investigation – turned himself into the Rhode Island State Police barracks in Scituate Thursday.
State Police Lt. Col. Joseph Philbin confirmed that the 55-year-old Democrat is in police custody, but it is unclear what charges he is facing. He will be held overnight and arraigned at Providence Superior Court Friday morning, Philbin said.
Target 12 learned state police detectives paid visits to properties owned by Carnevale in Providence and Johnston earlier Thursday. Amy Kempe, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, declined to comment.
Carnevale first came under scrutiny following the Target 12 investigation in June, spurred a city election investigation and a criminal probe by the state police.
At the time, Carnevale, a Democrat, represented House District 13 in Providence and served as vice chairman of the budget-writing House Finance Committee. He described his residence as 150 Barbara St. in Providence, a two-family home in District 13 that he co-owns with two other members of his family.
- Related: Undercover probe finds Providence lawmaker misleading either voters or Ethics Commission
- Also: Board removes Carnevale from Providence voter rolls
- More: State Police launch probe into Carnevale
But months of undercover surveillance by Target 12 found Carnevale was frequently at a property at 895 Greenville Ave. in Johnston, which tax records show he bought in 2007 for $307,000. That home lies in District 44, not Carnevale’s own District 13. The city’s Board of Canvassers later voted to kick him off the city’s voter rolls due to “inconsistencies” in the evidence about where he actually lives.
As Target 12 previously reported, detectives pulled land records regarding property Carnevale owns in Johnston as well as paperwork from the Providence Board of Canvassers. They also interviewed former tenants of 150 Barbara St., where Carnevale claims to live on voter registration applications and in paperwork he filed in his previous campaigns.
In July, Carnevale decided to end his reelection bid. In a letter to Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Carnevale cited “personal and family reasons” for his withdrawal. The city later stripped him of a tax break he was receiving at 150 Barbara Street because he failed to turn in papers verifying his residency.
Carnevale was first elected in 2008 and remained a member in good standing of Mattiello’s Democratic leadership team until late July, when the speaker cut ties with him over his behavior. A retired police officer, Carnevale comes from a prominent Silver Lake political family as the brother of Anthony Carnevale, the late lawmaker and judge whose name adorns an elementary school in Carnevale’s district.
Tim White ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on FacebookTed Nesi and Dan McGowan contributed to this report.