Rewrite this post PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – For Lindsey Scannapieco, the day started at 12:01 a.m. with a text message from Rhode Island state official David Patten requesting coffee, croissants, Diet Coke — and beer. “Please have fresh coffee (with milk and sugar) and the best croissant in Philadelphia ready for me upon arrival,” Patten wrote to Scannapieco, managing partner at Scout Ltd., the company seeking over $50 million from the state to execute its plan for redeveloping the long-vacant Cranston Street Armory. “Director Thorsen likes Diet Coke,” Patten continued, alluding to R.I. Department of Administration director Jim Thorsen, who would accompany him on the March 10 business trip. “Have a cold six pack waiting on the table in your conference room,” he added. “You have three hours to convince us to give you $55M.” The text message kicked off a bizarre 16-hour trip to Scout, the state contractor that landed a contract to redevelop the Armory under former Gov. Gina Raimondo and was trying to convince Gov. Dan McKee’s administration to fund the project. Patten, director of the R.I. Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, was responsible for vetting the plan along with Thorsen. As Target 12 first reported in April, Scout officials were so alarmed by the trip that they documented the two officials’ conduct in an email shared with state officials, alleging misogynistic, inappropriate and racist behavior. “We will not permit Patten or Thorsen to return to Bok ever again as we do not tolerate this type of behavior in our community,” Scout officials wrote in the email. “We do not want to work with people who support casual racism and sexism and are shocked at how this reflects on the State of Rhode Island and the lack of competence there.” The McKee administration fought for months to keep the email secret, but lost the battle on Wednesday when R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha ruled in favor of Target 12 and The Providence Journal in an open-records complaint seeking the message. McKee’s office released the email Thursday. It was forwarded to McKee’s chief of staff, Tony Afonso, two days after the trip by veteran political operative Jeff Britt, who’d been hired by Scout to lobby for their project at the State House. “[T]his behavior is not like anything I have heard of,” Britt wrote in the email to Afonso. According to the now-disclosed email from Scout, Patten and Thorsen spent March 10 visiting multiple organizations which operate inside a massive Philadelphia facility Scout has developed called Bok, which serves as a large-scale co-working space where entire companies, nonprofits and other organizations do business. Scout has cited Bok as a model for the Armory. Scout officials said the demeaning behavior first revealed in Patten’s early-morning text only continued throughout the day. In addition to the text to Scannapieco, Patten reportedly asked why her husband was out of the country. “Lindsey, where is your husband? Why is he in Australia?” Scannapieco reported Patten saying to her. “Good thing your [sic] married or I would move to Philadelphia.” She also said he told her: “If I knew your husband wasn’t going to be here, I would have come last night.” During a tour of Bok, the two men visited several businesses, including a medical practice and an Italian sneaker-and-sportswear company called Diadora, where executives at both companies reported experiencing inappropriate and even racist treatment.  At the medical practice, Jefferson Wyss Wellness Center, Scout officials said both men were disrespectful to patients, including homeless people who were seeking services. After learning the owner provided medical services including colonoscopies and Pap smears, Patten reportedly said, “When you go to the bars at night you must have to swat off the women.” Patten then asked the owner where he was from, suggesting the man had “some ethnicity in you.”  Informed the owner was Jewish, Patten responded, “Mazel tov,” and that he knew Jewish people in Brooklyn where he grew up, according to the email.   At Diodora, Patten was presented with a pair of sneakers. “Are these made in China?” Patten reportedly asked an employee. “I hope not, because I really hate China.” After making the comment, Scout officials said Patten turned to a female Asian employee and said, “No offense, hun.” The Diadora executive who reported the incident said he had a Chinese wife and two multiracial children.  The two men then continued their tour with a stop at Irwin’s, a high-end Italian restaurant on the eighth floor, which the email reports was closed at the time. In a March 12 memo Patten wrote about the trip, he offered a glowing review of the experience, but first explained the restaurant looked like “it was vandalized just before our arrival.”  “Imagine my surprise when I learned that Bon Appetit magazine rated it one of the top ten restaurants in the United States!” Patten wrote. “The cuisine at Irwin’s did not disappoint. The word ‘understated’ comes to mind.”  Scout officials described a starkly different scene at Irwin’s. According to their email, the restaurant was closed when Patten and Thorsen arrived, yet the two officials demanded it be opened – suggesting employees could come in early if Scout was serious about securing the McKee administration’s support for the Armory project. “[W]ell you can call in a favor if you want $55M in funding,” Patten reportedly told Scout officials. (Scout’s plan for the Armory included an indoor soccer complex, offices and a business incubator was expected to cost $57 million. McKee declined to request funding for the project in the budget and none was included in the revised budget bill passed last week by House lawmakers.)  During the meal at Irwin’s, Scout officials said the men didn’t pay at the end of the meal. An email shared with Target 12 shows Thorsen later emailed Everett Abitbol, Scout’s director of hospitality and development, on March 13 asking for an invoice for the lunch. It cost $250, according to state officials.   Thorsen also complained to Scout officials about their decision to hire Britt, asking if they were aware Britt “took Director Thorsens [sic] job on a state committee, and doing so in a somewhat menacing way.” While the email alleges Patten was the main antagonist during the trip, Scout’s staff also criticized Thorsen — one of the governor’s senior cabinet members — for not stepping in. “Thorsen allowed this behavior to continue to happen, even after we pulled him aside to make note that this needed to stop,” Scout’s leaders wrote in the email. “We are not sure if this was intended try to force our hand to walk away from the project — but we are disgusted and shocked by these actions.” They added: “Waiving $55 million in our faces as if this is what we are receiving and benefitting is insulting, misinformed and quite frankly a tact of exerting power and control over someone that is disgusting.” Three days after the trip, Patten went out on medical leave. He retained that status until May 30, when he was placed on paid administrative leave. He currently earns $174,490 per year. Thorsen — who had already submitted his resignation before going to Philadelphia — came back from the business trip and immediately scheduled a meeting with the state’s human resources division, according to his calendar. He stepped down in April to return to a job at the U.S. Treasury Department.  McKee — who has previously refused to comment on the alleged behavior in Philadelphia — announced after the attorney general ordered the email be made public that he referred the allegations against Patten to the R.I. State Police in April.  A Neronha spokesperson said they were not made aware of that probe. Asked Thursday for the governor’s reaction to the alleged behavior, McKee spokesperson Matt Sheaff declined substantive comment. “As there is still an ongoing Human Resources investigation and an ongoing State Police investigation into this matter, the office cannot comment further at this time,” he said. Eli Sherman ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook. Tim White ( is Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook Ted Nesi ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook . Keep all images. Remove “and links” at the beginning

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