PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) —
A former campaign aide to Democratic Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is headed to trial early next month to face a money laundering charge related to a campaign mailer.
A Superior Court judge this past week in a hearing involving state prosecutors and an attorney for Jeffrey Britt scheduled Britt's trial for Oct. 5, The Providence Journal reported.
Authorities allege Britt funded a $1,000 contribution made through a third party to defeated Republican primary candidate Shawna Lawton and the money ended up helping pay for a mailer endorsing Mattiello instead of her party’s nominee in 2016.
Authorities allege Britt met with Lawton before the mailer was sent out, suggesting the speaker would support her anti-vaccination priorities in exchange for her backing.
Britt's attorney, Robert Corrente, has said his client is being made a “fall guy” for Mattiello’s reelection campaign.
Mattiello is a potential witness at trial, prosecutors have said.
Britt, 52, who now lives in Florida, in July rejected the five-year, with 18 months to serve, sentence state prosecutors offered if he agreed to plead guilty to money laundering.