The speaker of the Rhode Island House says a former member of his leadership team should not resign his seat after he pleaded no contest to personal use of campaign funds.
Rep. Joe Almeida, a Providence Democrat, pleaded no contest on Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of using campaign money for himself.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello tells The Providence Journal that it sounded like a case of bad record keeping and characterized it as a slight indiscretion. He said he's glad the distraction is behind Almeida.
Almeida was originally charged with a felony count of unlawful appropriation of more than $1,000 in campaign funds. Police said he could not account for more than $6,100 in campaign money.
Almeida, a retired police officer, resigned as deputy majority whip after his arrest.