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BREAKING IN RI: Fung Caught in New ’No Rent’ Disclosure Scandal

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In a breaking scandal in Rhode Island, WPRI reported last night that Cranston Mayor Allan Fung paid no rent for his campaign office in 2016 and improperly reported several other campaign transactions in his campaign filings.
See excerpts from WPRI’s report below or read more online HERE
Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung wound up making no rent payments for his 2016 campaign headquarters at Chapel View, and more recently failed to disclose an outstanding bill from the shopping plaza’s powerful owner, according to a Target 12 review of R.I. Board of Elections filings.
The Cranston mayor’s political team has been based at Chapel View for the past three election cycles. Two years ago, in 2016, Fung’s office was open from at least mid-July through the November election. To pay for the space, the campaign issued three $500 rent checks to Carpionato Group, Chapel View’s owner, on Aug. 1, Sept. 1 and Oct. 1.
The following July, however, Fung’s campaign amended its Board of Elections reports to say that all three payments had been refunded by Carpionato. It was the second time that had happened: Fung’s campaign also reported Carpionato refunded $1,000 of its $4,500 in rent from his 2014 gubernatorial bid, which operated out of Carpionato space from the spring through the election. That $1,000 refund was reported to the board in October 2016, more than two years after the rent check was cut.
… Target 12 also found no record of rent payments to Carpionato for the Fung campaign’s current space at Chapel View, or for the space he used there to host his kickoff event last October. (The campaign’s most recent filing was dated March 31.)
… John Marion, executive director of good-government group Common Cause Rhode Island, said the state has strict rules on the reporting of campaign expenses so voters can have a full picture when they go to the voting booth. Voters are “robbed” of important information when campaigns aren’t transparent, he said.
Marion expressed concern about the Fung campaign’s reporting. “That’s premium real estate that they’re not paying market value for, according to filings,” he said. “I think clearly that campaign should be paying rent every month and they should be reporting that rent.”