Citing struggle with alcohol, Pawtucket Sen. Jamie Doyle resigns

Citing struggle with alcohol, Pawtucket Sen. Jamie Doyle resigns

PAWTUCKET – Sen. James Doyle, II, of District 8 Pawtucket, has resigned from the General Assembly effective immediately, according to a release.

“It is for personal reasons – caused by my struggle with alcohol – that I am resigning," he said in a statement. "Many of my close friends and colleagues knew that I took some time off last year. My intent was to come back to the Senate, but now is the time to focus on my recovery and on being healthy, and dedicating myself to my family.”

Doyle continued, “I thank God for His grace and mercy, and for my family, friends, and neighbors. At this time, please allow for privacy as I move forward with the assistance of my family.”

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio issued the following statement upon the resignation of Doyle:

“All of us in the Senate are thinking of Jamie and his family during this difficult time. We are grateful for his service to our state, and proud of him for taking the necessary steps to face his addiction. We wish him all the best in his recovery and in all of his future endeavors.”

Pawtucket City Councilor Albert Vitali Jr. officially put his name in the mix to replace Doyle.

"In light of Jamie Doyle's resignation today, I am formally declaring my intention to run for the seat," he told The Breeze.

Former opponents Matthew Fecteau and Mark Theroux are also expected to run for the District 8 seat.

Doyle's departure means a special election will now have to be held to fill his seat. That election must happen within 90 days.

Doyle, who was entering his 14th year serving the people of District 8 in the Rhode Island Senate, told The Breeze in December that he was “50-50” about whether he would run for the seat again in 2018. If anything, he said then, “I’m probably leaning toward not.”

Rumors had swirled for much of the past year that his seventh term would be Doyle’s last, especially as the senator’s absences piled up on multiple Senate committees he serves on. Doyle has also taken some criticism behind the scenes for his lack of involvement in the hearing process for a new downtown baseball stadium. He missed dozens of meetings on the labor and finance subcommittees, according to General Assembly records.

Doyle said in December that there are “a lot of great things about being in the Senate,” but his children are getting older, ages 11 and 9, and the demands of family life are becoming greater. His children are involved “in a ton of stuff,” he said, including baseball, hockey and cheerleading.

“As you get older, I think you realize what’s the most important thing,” he said then. “I have a lot more important things in life.”

Being a member of the Senate requires someone to be “dedicated 100 percent of the time,” and “it’s not an easy business to be a public servant,” said Doyle.

Doyle said he hadn’t been planning to run back in 2016, following the death of his father, former Pawtucket Mayor James Doyle, but then changed his mind.

The Pawtucket lawmaker said he’s been in office a long time.

“Sometimes some fresh blood is the best thing, but I haven’t made that decision,” he said.

Doyle acknowledged the criticism on his absences, particularly from those who have run against him before. He said attendance records make an “easy target,” and he has no regrets about not being at the various meetings. Just because he hasn’t made it to meetings doesn’t mean he hasn’t cared or known about the matters discussed at the meetings, he told The Breeze.


For him, his family and most important, his constituents. Probably shouldn't have run last time out with his low level of enthusiasm.
You sir, were an easy target because you're pompous, belligerent, a deadbeat, and violated people's trust in you.
District 8 deserves better.