PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Giovanni Feroce says he’s working to resolve a legal matter that led to the order for his civil arrest.
A judge issued a warrant for his arrest after the former Alex and Ani and Benrus CEO failed to appear in District Court Tuesday. An ongoing civil lawsuit alleges Feroce failed to pay $8,000 to a clothing supplier.
Eyewitness News reached out to Feroce via text. He said he is currently not in Rhode Island and is away on business.
“I did not know yesterday was about me at all,” Feroce said in the text. “I just forward paperwork in piles to parties dealing with Benrus. I guess that matter only named me, so we will now take care of it now that I know and submit the claim to the receiver once he gets proceeds in the future. I hope it gets resolved quickly.”
Court documents show Feroce was served a summons in February, warning him that if he failed to appear in court, he would be subject to civil arrest.
On Wednesday, Feroce said he was letting his attorneys handle the situation, but court documents reveal he is representing himself. It’s unclear when Feroce will be back in Rhode Island or if he will appear in court.
Feroce’s opponent in the Republican gubernatorial primary, House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, called for Feroce to drop out of the race Wednesday.
“I do think he should not be running,” Morgan said. “He has a lot of problems in his life now, I think he would better serve himself and the people of Rhode Island if he took time to straighten out his life.”
Feroce told Eyewitness News he had no comment about Morgan, but added, “As I have stated from day one, I am running a positive campaign to fix Rhode Island and will not go negative on my opponents in the primary.”
On Wednesday, Feroce took to Twitter, saying he “did it all on purpose” to draw attention away from Morgan’s news conference:
I did it all on purpose so you all wouldn’t hear about Patricia’s blueprint for Rhode Island news conference today, It worked perfectly.— Giovanni Feroce (@giovanniferoce) May 2, 2018
He later took to twitter again to say his comments were “tongue in cheek.”
Are some people really taking a tongue and cheek remark literally? My God.
What has happened to common sense.
Just stop it already and stop making RI look stupid my creating false hysteria. Grow up.— Giovanni Feroce (@giovanniferoce) May 2, 2018