State Police Arrests a Providence City Councilman for Unlawful Appropriation of Campaign Contributions and Embezzlement from a Youth Track & Field Organization

Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, announces that members of the State Police Financial Crimes Unit arrested Providence City Councilman Kevin E. Jackson for allegedly misappropriating $12,074.06 in campaign contributions for his personal use and embezzling $127,153.02 from the Providence Cobras, a youth track and field organization.

On May 11, 2016, Kevin E. Jackson, age 57, of 91 Jenkins Street, Providence, Rhode Island, was arrested and charged with Unlawful Appropriation over $1,000, Violations of Rhode Island Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Requirements, Filing a False Document with a Public Official and Embezzlement over $100. Mr. Jackson is the Majority Leader of the Providence City Council and represents Ward 3.

An investigation by the Financial Crimes Unit originated from a referral by the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General after receiving the results of an audit of Mr. Jackson’s campaign finance reports conducted by the Rhode Island Board of Elections. The investigation revealed that Mr. Jackson allegedly spent $12,074.06 in campaign funds on what appears to be personal expenses to include apparel, healthcare expenses, cash withdrawals and a $4,000 withdrawal used to pay a fine imposed by the Rhode Island Board of Elections. A review of Mr. Jackson’s campaign reports compared to his campaign finance bank account statements also revealed an underreporting of contributions and a failure to accurately report expenditures.

While further reviewing Mr. Jackson’s campaign finance reports, investigators observed numerous campaign-related expenses that were deducted from the bank account of the Providence Cobras, a youth track and field organization founded by Mr. Jackson and heavily funded by grants awarded by the City of Providence. Mr. Jackson oversaw the finances for the organization and was the sole debit card holder for the Cobras’ account. A full analysis of the Cobras bank records revealed that Mr. Jackson allegedly embezzled approximately $127,153 from the Cobras since 2009 in the form of various cash withdrawals and personal expenses.

Mr. Jackson is scheduled to be at the Sixth Division District Court at 2:00 p.m. today.

The penalty for a person convicted of felony unlawful appropriation over $1,000 is a fine not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or three (3) times the value of the money or property thus appropriated, whichever is greater, or imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years, or both.

The penalty for a person convicted of violations of Rhode Island campaign contributions and expenditures reporting requirements is a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation.

The penalty for a person convicted of filing a false document with a public official is a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisonment for not more than one year.

The penalty for a person convicted of felony embezzlement over $100 is a fine not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or three (3) times the value of the money or property thus embezzled, whichever is greater, or imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years, or both.