Warwick, RI – Raymond McKay, a city network administrator hoping to run against Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), has resigned from the Warwick Republican GOP over an ordinance preventing him from running as a municipal employee, which he says also prevents him from serving on the committee.
On May 30, US District Court Judge Mary Lisi upheld the Warwick ordinance prohibiting classified employees from running for office, meaning McKay would have to quit his job to become a candidate.
Though Mayor Scott Avedisian has offered to grant McKay a leave of absence during his run for office, McKay said his lawyers have advised that won’t satisfy the ordinance.
“After speaking with several attorneys, all agree that the City Ordinance would still apply to me in my leave of absence capacity as I would still be a city employee; I would still be holding a position and having an employee ID number; I just would not be receiving a pay check,” McKay wrote.
Since the ruling, McKay has sent a letter to the City Council asking them to amend the ordinance to resolve what he characterizes as discrimination against certain employees.
“Regardless of the motivations, Warwick employees are not treated equally under the law under the current ordinances. Not only do these ordinances discriminate, but of particular concern is the inconsistent enforcement of these ordinances on city employees. For example, I was targeted for enforcement this time, even though I had previously run for State Senate as a classified employee in 1998,” he wrote.
McKay said the ordinance has been inconsistently enforced for decades.
McKay also sent a letter of resignation to the Warwick Republican City Committee Chairman giving up his membership there this week.
“According to the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office, such a position is deemed an elected position, and whereas the City of Warwick has taken me to Federal Court to press their rights in this matter, and the Warwick City Council has been a complacent by-stander allowing this travesty to unfold, I have no alternative,” McKay wrote.
McKay is also president of the RI Republican Assembly.
This is a test