Supreme Court Justice found in violation of disclosure law


February 26, 2019

By Walt Buteau

The Rhode Island Ethics Commission ruled Supreme Court Justice Francis X. Flaherty violated state financial disclosure law by not reporting his involvement in a religious society comprised of attorneys and judges.

The ethics complaint was filed in 2016 by Rhode Island native Helen Hyde, who one of two plaintiffs in a 2016 Supreme Court ruling involving Flaherty, who wrote the decision for the civil case.

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision against Hyde’s demand for financial damages from the Bishop of Providence in a sexual abuse case.
Hyde alleged she was molested in the late 60’s in East Greenwich by the late Father Brendan Smyth,
who died in prison after he was convicted of molesting 141 children over four decades.

By the time Hyde came forward, the statute of limitations on her case had expired.

In her complaint, Hyde said Flaherty should have disclosed his involvement with the Saint Thomas More Society since her case involved the Catholic Church.

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