PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The state ethics commission has decided to open a formal investigation into Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo's dealings with the company that runs Rhode Island's lottery.
The Rhode Island Republican Party filed a complaint. WPRI-TV reports the commission voted Tuesday to open the investigation.
Brandon Bell, special counsel for the party, alleges Raimondo violated state law by negotiating and entering into a tentative agreement with International Game Technology to extend its services until 2043 without going through a competitive bid process.
Jonathan Berkon, a lawyer for Raimondo, says they're confident the commission will find this "latest partisan complaint has no merit."
Raimondo and legislative leaders announced the proposed terms in June. The deal needs legislative approval.
Republican leaders say they're pleased with Tuesday's decision and the legislature shouldn't vote until the investigation is over.