Former Cranston city councilor suspended from practicing law after drug arrest

CRANSTON – Former City Councilor Matthew R. Reilly, who was arrested May 15 for drug possession after he was found by police passed out in his vehicle, was suspended on Friday from practicing law in the state by the R.I. Supreme Court.

Reilly, a Republican who represented the city’s 6th ward until his recent resignation, was taken into custody on a misdemeanor charge of possessing $100 worth of crack cocaine and fentanyl on May 15. Two days later, the R.I. District Court ordered that Reilly be evicted from his law office on Sockanosset Cross Road, according to Friday’s court order.

The R.I. Supreme Court has appointed R.I. Chief Disciplinary Counsel Kerry Reilley Travers as temporary special master to take over Reilly’s caseload and office while he is suspended. Per the court record, Reilly has 18 family court appearances scheduled between May 23 and Aug. 9.

After his arrest, Reilly resigned from the council and as chairman of the Cranston Republican Party.

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.