Rhode Island Attorney General being investigated about DuPont donation
The state Ethics Commission has agreed to look into a complaint against Rhode Island''s attorney general about campaign donations he accepted from a lawyer for DuPont Co. while he was negotiating to drop the company from a lawsuit, the Associated Press reports. The commission will conduct a preliminary investigation to decide if there is evidence to launch a full-scale probe of Attorney General Patrick Lynch. The complaint was filed by Bill Harsch, a Republican who is running for attorney general in November. The complaint accuses Lynch of influence peddling and conflict of interest for accepting $4,250 in campaign contributions from several people with ties to DuPont, including attorney Bernard Nash and his wife, who gave Lynch''s campaign a total of $2,500. Nash was the company''s chief negotiator of a deal in which it was dismissed from the state''s lead paint lawsuit in exchange for charitable donations totaling about $12.5 million. The lawsuit may cost three other companies in the case billions of dollars after a jury in February found them liable for creating a public nuisance. The judge in the case has yet to decide how much, if anything, the companies must pay. An appeal is likely if the judge does not throw out the case or order a new trial. Part of the deal struck with DuPont directs some of the $12.5 million in charitable donations to pay for cleaning up 600 Rhode Island homes that contain lead paint.