Crime and Justice

Top aide to Rhode Island governor arrested in Waterbury on felony charges

state police car in front of office building
A senior adviser to Rhode Island's governor was charged with unlawful trespass and unlawful mischief, according to Vermont State Police. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

A top aide to Rhode Island’s governor was arrested on felony charges in Vermont this weekend after police were called to a home in Waterbury for a report of a man trying to steal a vehicle.

Christopher Farrell, 38, was charged with unlawful trespass and unlawful mischief, according to a Vermont State Police news release.

Farrell’s listed address in the press release is Stowe. The Boston Globe reported Monday that Farrell has a residence in Stowe and also lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The newspaper also reported that Farrell is also a senior adviser to Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee.

According to the release from Trooper John Gildea of the Vermont State Police, police received a call around 1 p.m. Saturday for a reported burglary on Sunset Drive in Waterbury.  

While troopers were responding to that call, the release stated, a second call reported a man was trying to steal a vehicle from a residence. Troopers went to the scene and, along with Waterbury Emergency Medical Services, found Farrell, and investigation led to his arrest on the felony charges.  

Waterbury EMS took Farrell to Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin to speak with a screener from Washington County Mental Health, the release said.

Farrell is set to appear Aug. 25 in Washington County Superior criminal court in Barre for an arraignment on the charges.

Adam Silverman, a Vermont State Police spokesperson, said Monday that more information in the case will be released when a police affidavit explaining the charges becomes public after Farrell’s arraignment. 

Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault, whose office prosecutes crimes from Waterbury, said Monday afternoon he had not yet received any paperwork on Farrell’s case and therefore could not comment on the matter.  

Laura Hart, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Administration, said in an emailed statement to The Globe Monday, “While we will not be commenting further on this ongoing issue, Mr. Farrell has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of this personal health matter.”

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