PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A former Democratic lawmaker pleaded not guilty on Friday to three felony charges of perjury and one count of filing false documents, after authorities allege he lied about his place of residence.
A grand jury issued a sealed indictment on Thursday against John Carnevale. He turned himself in to state police that afternoon and was held overnight before his arraignment on Friday in Providence Superior Court.
The indictment alleges the 55-year-old Carnevale, a retired police officer and former vice chair of the powerful House Finance Committee, lied to the Providence Board of Canvassers during a hearing about whether he lived at the multifamily home where he was registered to vote.
Carnevale also faces a charge for filing with the city a homestead exemption on the Providence property, which resulted in a tax break. The indictment alleges he filed the document with the intent to mislead the state.
A WPRI-TV investigation last year raised questions about whether he lived in a home he owns in Johnston, which is located outside his district and wasn’t listed on ethics filings.
Carnevale has insisted he lived in Providence, but WPRI’s video footage showed Carnevale spending much of his time at the Johnston home, and masking his face with a T-shirt after spotting the camera outside. He later told constituents he covered his face because of allergies.
Carnevale was later accused by Providence Police of asking an officer to write him a parking ticket outside the Providence residence, a request the department interpreted as an effort to validate his residency.
The Providence Board of Canvassers found after the July hearing that Carnevale is not an eligible voter because he doesn’t live at the Providence residence where he registered to vote. After the board ruling, the secretary of state said he was barred from running for re-election unless the state Board of Elections or state Supreme Court ruled otherwise.
Superior Court Magistrate Patricia Harwood set Carnevale’s bail at $50,000 personal recognizance and scheduled a pretrial conference for Feb. 23.