CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island office of the Disciplinary Counsel has filed an emergency petition with the courts, suspending the law license of former Cranston City Councilman Matthew Reilly after he was charged with possession of crack cocaine.
In an order posted Friday Chief Disciplinary Counsel Kerry Reilley Travers, filed the petition with the R.I. Supreme Court after reviewing police bodycam footage of Reilly’s arrest on Monday.
“Respondent can be heard stating that he bought $100 worth of crack cocaine the day prior, that he had relapsed, and that he had ‘just gotten back into this,'” Reilley Travers wrote.
She also said a district court order was entered earlier this week evicting Reilly from his Sockanosset Cross Road law office.
“Disciplinary Counsel and her staff contacted Respondent twice by email after his arrest and attempted to contact him by phone,” Reilley Travers wrote. “To date, respondent has not responded.”
In the order granting the petition, the unnamed justice of the supreme court — sitting as the “duty justice” — wrote the suspension of his license was in “furtherance of protecting the public and maintaining the integrity of the legal profession.”
Reilly would need an order from the state Supreme Court to return his law license to active.
The court also appointed Reilley Travers as special master, giving her full access to Reilly’s former office and “to take possession of the respondent’s client files to inventory some and to take whatever steps deemed necessary to protect the clients’ interests, including but not limited to returning the files to the clients or new counsel of each client’s choice.”
Reilly’s primarily practiced family law.
Reilly, 41, was taken into custody Monday morning shortly after a passerby alerted an officer patrolling Pontiac Avenue that a man parked across the street appeared to be choking, according to a police report obtained by 12 News.
The officer walked over to the car to investigate and found the man, later identified as Reilly, in the driver’s seat with a glass pipe and a lighter in his hand.
The officer arrested Reilly and charged with one count of possession of crack cocaine. He was arraigned and released pending his next court date, which is scheduled for June 15.
Bodycam footage obtained by 12 News showed the officer shaking Reilly awake before searching him and his vehicle.
A Republican, Reilly represented Ward 6 and served on the city’s safety services committee.
Reilly resigned his seat on Thursday under mounting pressure. His resignation was announced by Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins, a fellow Republican.
“Matt made the right decision to step down so that he can focus his full attention on his well-being and young family,” Hopkins said in a statement.
Tim White (email@example.com) is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.