The Ocean State Current received a report this morning about a confrontation last evening (Monday, October 29) at the Quidnessett Country Club, between Marilyn Trillo, wife of gubernatorial candidate Joe Trillo, and a prominent oral surgeon, Dr. Stephen Skoly.*
The event, a dinner for the Political Action Committee of the RI Dental Association, was designed to be a town-hall type forum featuring the three leading candidates for Rhode Island governor. Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo was a no-show, while Cranston Mayor, Republican Allan Fung, and independent candidate Joe Trillo answered questions.
According to the source, and confirmed by Dr. Skoly, following Mr. Trillo’s remarks, his wife, Marilyn, angrily confronted Skoly, whom she assumed was supportive of Fung. In the heated confrontation, Mrs. Trillo insisted that Skoly advise Fung that she would do everything she could to ruin the mayor over his alleged mention of a rumor involving the Trillos’ daughter. She further stated that Fung once told her husband that “the Chinese can never be trusted.” According to sources, multiple people asked Mrs. Trillo to step away from Dr. Skoly, including a Trillo campaign staffer.
The long-standing rumor involves an alleged back-room deal between Joe Trillo and Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo, whereby Trillo, a former Republican state Representative, would play third-party spoiler against Fung in the 2018 gubernatorial race in exchange for appointment of his daughter to a high-paying judicial post. Trillo has repeatedly denied such allegations. The source claims that Mrs. Trillo vehemently defended the qualifications of her daughter.
The Current has reached out to both campaigns and welcomes further information from attendees of the event. (Contact managing editor Justin Katz at jkatz@OceanStateCurrent.com.)
* Dr. Skoly is the Chairman of the Board of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, the parent organization of The Ocean State Current.
UPDATED (2:02 p.m. 10/31/18):
Both campaigns have responded to requests for comment from the Ocean State Current.
The Fung campaign called the incident “absolutely ridiculous,” saying that “the Trillo campaign continues to show its true colors. Their entire campaign has simply been to bring me down and to help Governor Raimondo win re-election.”
Candidate Joe Trillo told the Current that he had no comment because, he claimed, he was not present in the hallway during the incident.
Marilyn Trillo did promptly return our call and claimed that the story is much ado about nothing. While confirming that the discussion with Dr. Skoly did take place, she refutes that the tone was overly heated. She also confirmed that she said that Mayor Fung did make a statement to her about the trustworthiness of “the Chinese” some 11 years ago while they were co-judging a beauty pageant.
Mrs. Trillo also denies that anyone needed to intervene between her and Dr. Skoly, saying that it was her husband, who simply said that it was “time to go.”
Original publication 11:05 a.m., 10/30/18.