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Questions about RI Attorney General's time in Florida

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com

When a Florida TV station covered an arts festival in Sarasota last month, someone very familiar to Rhode Island popped up on TV.

"There is such diversity and such creativity. It's really amazing to see the talent on display," said Peter Kilmartin on WWSB-TV Sarasota, which identified him as a Sarasota resident.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin does own a home in Sarasota, and was there for the Martin Luther kKng holiday weekend.

His political opponent says Kilmartin may be in Florida often, and he wants answers.

"And this should be an easy question for the Attorney General to resolve, and just tell us. How much time is he spending down there out of state? Release your travel records. You know if you are taking a diligent, thoughtful and engaged approach to your job, your travel records will reveal that," said State Sen. Dawson Hodgson, (R) candidate for Attorney General.

Kilmartin - who is seeking a second-term this year - declined comment for our story.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "At this point the Senator is not suggesting anything illegal or unethical took place, but he does say the Attorney General needs to provide a proper accounting of any time he spent out of state."

While the TV station labeled Kilmartin a Sarasota resident, even his critics concede that mistake may have been the TV station's error.

"Sure and the Attorney General has every opportunity to explain how they came to that misunderstanding. There may very well be an explanation for it, but we should here it from him," said Senator Hodgson.

Hodgson says the Attorney General should be spending more time objecting to the so–called thrill killers release; and investigating the costly "38 Studios" collapse; instead of visiting Florida.

Late today the Attorney General's spokeswoman Amy Kempe issued a statement.

She noted that former Governor's Bruce Sundlun and Don Carcieri also had vacation homes out of state, but maintained their legal residency in Rhode Island.

She called concerns over Kilmartin's residency, "ridiculous."

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