RI Chief of Staff Negotiating DraftKings Legality as Wife Applied for VP Job There

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
May/05/2016

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s Chief of Staff Stephen Neuman had been negotiating legislation tied to the fate of Boston-based DraftKings at the very time his wife was interviewing for a job as Vice President of the Daily Fantasy Sports firm.

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According to a report by GoLocalProv, Neuman’s wife was ultimately hired as Head of Regulatory at DraftKings

The state’s ethics statute states, "A substantial conflict of interest exists if an official has reason to believe or expect that he, any person within his family, a business associate or an employer will derive a direct monetary gain or suffer a direct monetary loss by reason of his official activity.”

A number of states, including Rhode Island, began exploring the legal status of Daily Fantasy Sports contests following an opinion by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that DraftKings and rival FanDuel ran afoul of state gambling laws.

In April, the Rhode Island Ethics Commission issued a prospective advisory opinion green lighting Neuman separating from direct oversight of issues relating to his wife's new company and their legislation, but the Commission's decision was limited to guidance moving forward and not Neuman's actions while his wife was being hired, GoLocalProv reports.

In recent weeks little Rhode Island has made headlines across the Gambling911.com website following a massive sports betting bust that included the arrests of several top local and one professional athlete.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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