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R.I. Lawmaker Resigns Leadership Post After Arrest

The deputy majority whip of the Rhode Island House of Representatives has resigned his leadership position after being arrested and charged with misappropriating more than $6,000 in campaign contributions.

State Police arrested Democratic Rep. Joseph Almeida on Tuesday. Almeida's lawyer entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf in district court, and he was released on $10,000 personal recognizance.

Almeida said in a letter to Speaker Nicholas Mattiello he's resigning due to his legal issues and for the good of the leadership team.

Mattiello said he was "very disappointed" to learn of the arrest and he thinks it's appropriate that Almeida resign his position. Mattiello said he's accepting the resignation.

Col. Steven O'Donnell said in a press release announcing Almeida's arrest that the charges stemmed from an audit by the Rhode Island Board of Elections.

Police say the board found Almeida withdrew cash and wrote several checks from his campaign account to himself and couldn't show satisfactory documentation to support $6,122.03 in expenditures.

The 57-year-old from Providence is a retired police officer. He did not attend Tuesday's House session.

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