RI representative Carlos Tobon resigns from his seat after debt report


PROVIDENCE — House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi has secured the resignation of embattled Pawtucket Rep. Carlos Tobon from the powerful House Finance Committee following a report into Tobon’s personal financial troubles.

Shekarchi said he asked Tobon after seeing a WPRI-TV report on Tobon’s “hidden debt trail,” including a series of unpaid court judgments, he failed to account for his annual financial disclosure filing with the Rhode Island Ethics Commission.

“Tobon has been taken to court at least seven times since 2016 for allegedly failing to repay the money he owed; last month a judge ordered him to pay a 17-year-old debt of more than $45,000 “, says the article.

Shekarchi said Tobon also stepped down as deputy leader of the majority and the task force examining how to use money from the state’s American Rescue Plan Act.

“Furthermore, I will institute a new policy, effective immediately, stating that staff attorneys may no longer represent legislators in their private practices,” Shekarchi said of attorney John Manni’s disclosure, director of legal services of the House Judiciary Committee. , represented Tobon in one of the court cases.

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Democrat Tobon was first elected to the House in November 2014. His online legislative profile says he is “employed in the insurance industry… [and] a reserve non-commissioned officer in the United States Coast Guard.”

WPRI reported that “Tobon devoted much of his energy to a variety of real estate transactions, both as an investor and as an entrepreneur. But these efforts often ended in complaints of unpaid bills or of unfinished work, leaving him with badly damaged credit.”

Tobon told the TV station he could offer a reasonable explanation for each case. “That’s why I’m here. I’m not running from any of this.

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John A. Bogar