On Wednesday, Rhode Island state Rep. Ramon Perez testified before the House Finance Committee in favor of a bill that would compensate drivers who were involved in accidents with unlicensed motorists.
In an effort to gain support, he handed committee members a screenshot of a Wikipedia article about a similar policy in Puerto Rico.
However, it didn't take long before lawmakers became distracted by what the screenshot was hiding. Time reported that the handout showed multiple open browser tabs that referenced pornographic websites, although no images could be seen.
After the tabs were noticed, the clerk collected the handouts from members, and Perez submitted a new handout the next day, sans pornographic websites.
The Providence Journal noted that one of the tabs included the word “teen” and was time stamped at 2:07 a.m. Perez reportedly apologized on Facebook and claimed it was someone else who sent him the screenshot to use. However, the post has since been taken down.
He told the Providence Journal that he won't share who sent him the photo because “it's my fault,” and added that the person was just trying to help him.
During an interview with WPRI 12 News, Perez admitted he was “extremely” embarrassed by what happened and explained, “I have never dealt with a situation like this before.” Although he stands by his claim that it wasn't his browser tabs that were open, he said, “Now I think everyone is looking at me differently.”
As for his legislation, the committee voted to hold it for further study.