Around New England

Strip Clubs Own Rhode Island

February 19, 2019

Donations to well-connected Rhode Island pols from strip clubs were obscured in official records hat said they came from a law firm that used to lobby for the businesses, according to an investigation by the Providence Journal.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, both Democrats, are among the beneficiaries.

The lawyer whose firm bundled the political donations, Robert D. Goldberg, is the husband of a state supreme court justice, Maureen McKenna Goldberg, who recently participated in a case where the court decided that The Foxy Lady strip club could re-open while owners try to negotiate a settlement with the city of Providence on punishment for allowing three of its strippers to solicit prostitution at the club.

The Providence Journal also found that a man with strong ties to organized crime owns a portion of The Foxy Lady, something city officials say they didn’t know.

In December 2018, New Boston Post reported unusually supportive comments toward The Foxy Lady by a member of the Providence Board of Licenses, which oversees licensees in the city, six days after police arrested three strippers in the club on prostitution charges.

Some lawmakers in the state want to legalize prostitution.

“… Rhode Island may eventually be known as the brothel of New England,” said the chairman of the state’s Republican Party, Brandon S. Bell, according to the Providence Journal.

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