Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
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  2002 Signature
2002 Veto
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1997 Veto

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1995 Veto
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July 18, 2000


In accordance with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 43-1-4, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, OO-H-7137 As Amended, "An Act Relating to State Affairs and Government Sheriffs."

This bill, as amended on the floor, would provide that a deputy sheriff may be removed for commission of a misdemeanor or felony while in office only upon a "final conviction."

R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-29-10, currently states, "Any deputy sheriff may be removed for misdemeanor in office by the supreme court or by the superior court sitting for the county which the officer belongs upon complaint made." I am, of course, supportive of a technical change to place into the law the obvious point that since a deputy sheriff could be removed immediately for a misdemeanor, a deputy sheriff could likewise be removed for a more serious felony.

This bill, however, was amended on the floor to preclude removal for a serious crime in office until final conviction, which may protect a deputy sheriff -from removal until all appeals are exhausted potentially years later. This bill thus limits the authority of the courts of this state to remove a deputy sheriff who has committed a crime. This is also contrary to the state's authority with respect to other employees.

For the foregoing reasons, I disapprove of this legislation and respectfully urge your support of this veto.


Lincoln Almond