PROVIDENCE, RI – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a former member of the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) pleaded nolo contendere in Kent County Superior Court to misdemeanor charges stemming from conducting private business activities while on official duty.

Lieutenant John (Jay) Gibbs (age 51) pleaded nolo contendere before District Court Judge Anthony Capraro to one count of violating the State’s code of ethics and one count of giving a false document to a public official. Lt. Gibbs received a one-year suspended sentence with probation and was ordered to pay $500 to the Victims of Crimes Indemnity Fund.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that in 2018, Lt. Gibbs owned Ocean State Scale & Balance, LLC, a business specializing in selling and servicing commercial scales. In June 2018, the RISP Commercial Enforcement Unit sought quotes for the purchase of new commercial scales. As part of this effort, Lt. Gibbs solicited a quote from a competing commercial scale vendor, then shared that information with Commercial Scale & Balance, a Massachusetts business that had an existing business relationship with Lt. Gibbs’ company.

Commercial Scale & Balance was initially awarded the RISP contract for commercial scales as the low bidder, using the information gained from Lt. Gibbs. The award was later revoked after it was challenged by a competing vendor.

Lt. Gibbs violated the State’s code of ethics by standing to benefit from a transaction that conflicted with the proper discharge of his duties as a state employee.

During this time, Lt. Gibbs conducted private business activities during the week of July 30, 2018 associated with the sale and purchase of new commercial scales. Lt. Gibbs, however, submitted a weekly timecard that reflected a full week of work, without discharging any personal time, with the intent to mislead the RISP.

The case was investigated by Lieutenant Matthew Salisbury of the Rhode Island State Police and prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General John Moreira and Peter Roklan.

The Health and Human Services secretary is meeting with the president of Taiwan at the highest-level meeting between Washington and the island nation in decades. The meeting between Alex Azar and Tsai Ing-wen has strained relations with China even further. Taiwan is being celebrated as a success story in the fight against the coronavirus, with fewer than 500 cases and only seven deaths in its population of 23 million people.        Donald Trump says his new postmaster general is trying to make the service self-sustaining. The President told reporters Sunday the postal service has been losing massive amounts of money for decades. Louis DeJoy has eliminated overtime for carriers and sent a memo telling them to leave mail behind at distribution centers if they will slow down the delivery process.        It appears the White House contacted the governor of South Dakota to find out the process for adding a fifth president to Mount Rushmore. Governor Kristi Noem said the first time she met the President he told her it was his dream to have his face join George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The National Park Service says there is no stable space to add another face, so it will remain at four.       The BBC's Director-general is apologizing after a report used a racial slur on the air. The British organization originally stood behind their choice to use the slur in a report on a racially motivated attack last month. Now, Tony Hall says he now sees how the word caused distress and said the BBC would look into their guidelines on offensive language across their platforms.       Rain and the Nationals' grounds crew struggling to move the tarp suspended the Orioles 5-2 lead over Washington in the sixth inning until Friday. With rain moving in, the grounds crew could not cover the infield in time before rain soaked the infield. The game will pick up with one out in top of the sixth inning in Baltimore later this week.