PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Nearly half the staff has resigned from the office that issues marriage licenses at Providence City Hall, but officials won’t say why they were under scrutiny.

Josh Estrella, a spokesperson for Providence Mayor Brett Smiley’s office, told Target 12 that nine individuals make up the city’s Vital Records and Licensing team, and at some point, four of them were placed on paid administrative leave and later resigned.

The Vital Records office issues certified birth, marriage and death certificates, marriage licenses, and files records for deaths that take place in Providence.

Spokesperson Patricia Socarras told Target 12 “we can however confirm this issue doesn’t relate to the validity of marriage licenses issued by this office.”

Estrella said the city could not provide specific information on personnel matters.

A timeline of when the staff members were placed on leave and when they resigned was not disclosed, with city staff again citing personnel matters.

Socarras said all four of the individuals placed on leave were the same four that resigned, leaving the office with five employees. She added that police were not investigating the matter, though it’s not yet clear if the staff members are facing any discipline.

Despite the staffing dustup, Socarras said the office remains open for normal business hours.

“What I can say to the residents and business owners in Providence is that that department remains open that we have been able to continue our work that none of the past work is in question. And so it’s business as usual here in Providence, while we seek to replace those roles,” Smiley told 12 News.

Socarras told Target 12 that the clerk positions in the department make anywhere from $40,082 to $48,609 per year.

Alexandra Leslie ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence and more for 12 News. Connect with her on X, formerly known as Twitter and on Facebook.