State senator pleads nolo contendere in vehicle keying case

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — Sen. Josh Miller entered a plea of nolo contendere in court Tuesday after he was accused of keying an SUV in Cranston last month.

As part of his plea, Miller agreed to pay the car owner $2,850 for damages and a $250 donation to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

The check for car owner has already been issued, according to the Cranston City Solicitor.

Also as part of the plea, the charges of malicious damage to property and obstruction of a police officer in execution of his duties will be expunged if Miller stays out of trouble for the next year.

Cranston police share body-worn camera footage of Sen. Josh Miller talking to officers, Thursday, June 22, 2023. (Cranston police)

“I am truly sorry for my actions in this matter and I am disappointed in my behavior and lack of judgement,” Miller said in a statement.

“In a blink of an eye, I exhibited a lack of self-control that has impacted my reputation. For that, I only have myself to blame as I am solely responsible for what led to today’s court proceedings,” he continued.

“All I can ask is that I be judged on how I have comported myself throughout my life as a husband, father, business owner, employer and public servant,” the Democrat concluded.

Miller was accused of keying a car with a Biden bumper sticker in the parking lot of the Garden City shopping center on June 22.

Cranston police share this booking photo of Sen. Josh Miller.

When police first arrived, Miller initially denied any involvement.

In a follow up discussion with police later that night at his home, he admitted to the act.

Following his arrest, the Rhode Island Republican Party called on Miller to resign.

Miller has been in the Rhode Island Senate since winning election in 2006 representing the district that covers portions of Providence and Cranston.

He currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio issued a statement where he said in part that they will be “putting this incident behind us.”

“Sen. Miller is a dedicated and passionate public servant. As the longtime Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, he has helped navigate some of the most complex areas of government, enacting legislation that greatly improves access to health care, addresses the opioid overdose crisis, and provides a robust social services safety net. He consistently has been a powerful and effective advocate for the least fortunate in our society.

Sen. Miller’s actions on June 22 were deeply regrettable. He has accepted full responsibility, demonstrated sincere remorse, and made restitution.

I don’t believe that any one of us would want to be judged solely upon our worst moments.

I choose to look at the whole of Sen. Miller’s public service, including the countless hours he has spent working to make our state a better place to live and work. Because of his long record of service, because he has taken responsibility for his actions, and because the events of that day had nothing to do with his responsibilities in the Senate or his position as a state senator, we are putting this incident behind us and moving forward. Like all of us who hold elected office, Sen. Miller will ultimately answer to his constituents.”

Categories: News, Rhode Island