Former political candidate faces embezzlement charge
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A man who won a seat in the Rhode Island state legislature but resigned before being sworn in is facing charges of embezzling from the state chapter of the Sierra Club.
Laufton Ascencao was released on personal recognizance after a court appearance Thursday. He did not ether a plea.
Authorities say the 26-year-old Ascencao diverted more than $16,000 in funds from the Sierra Club, where he was treasurer, to his political campaign.
His attorney, John Grasso, said he could not comment because he has not been provided the specifics of the case. Ascencao, who now lives in Maine, didn’t comment.
The Bristol Democrat was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2018, but resigned before taking the seat for misleading local officials about a campaign mailer that was never sent.
This story has been corrected to show that the amount Ascencao is charged with embezzling is more than $16,000, not $14,000.