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Carnevale ‘terminated’ as lobbyist for tackle shop

Target 12

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former state Rep. John Carnevale’s fledgling career as a registered lobbyist has come to a close, less than four days after it began.

On Monday, Target 12 reported Carnevale had registered as a lobbyist for Quaker Lane Bait and Tackle in North Kingstown. By Tuesday morning, the shop’s owner, Michael Bestwick, sent an email to Target 12 with a screenshot of the Rhode Island secretary of state’s website showing Carnevale had been “terminated” as a lobbyist.

“As you can see below I have terminated this relationship,” Bestwick wrote in the email.

He has not yet responded to an inquiry as to why.

Nick Domings, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, confirmed in an email that Bestwick “contacted our Public Information Office this morning and terminated the lobbying relationship with Mr. Carnevale.”

On Monday, the website showed Carnevale was hired as a $50-an-hour lobbyist, and Bestwick had said Carnevale was hired “to watch and weigh in on any changes in DEM laws, rules and regulations pertaining to fishing and hunting and also firearm sales.”

Carnavale was indicted in January 2017, months after being kicked off the Providence voter rolls following days of hearings before the city’s Board of Canvassers. The panel determined Carnevale was not being honest about where he lived in the wake of a 2016 Target 12 undercover investigation.

The investigation raised questions as to whether Carnevale actually lived at a Barbara Street address in Providence he claimed on election and campaign finance paperwork.

Once the vice chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee, Carnevale pleaded no contest to a single count of perjury after cutting a deal with prosecutors in 2018. As part of the agreement, two other perjury counts were dropped, as was a misdemeanor charge of filing a false document.

Carnevale was given a five-year sentence: nine months of home confinement, with the rest to be served on probation.

Tim White ( is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook

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