Councilor John Florez

The Newport Police Department has released the following press release regarding the arrest of Councilor At-Large John Florez.

On 12/11/17, at 1:45 p.m., 46-year-old John Florez of 11 Roseneath Avenue, Newport, RI was charged with Crank or Obscene Telephone Calls (RI General Law §11-35-17).

The charge stems from a report filed by a family member on December 4, 2017 in regards to Mr. Florez’ minor child receiving sexually explicit text messages on their phone from another minor.

The messages were discovered on December 2, 2017.

The family member indicated that Mr. Florez contacted the minor on December 2, 2017 and advised that he did not want his child contacted any further by this minor. The family member also indicated that the minor then called Mr. Florez repeatedly throughout the course of the night.

The family member indicated they were only filing the police report on the recommendations of a Family Court Judge in an effort to obtain a restraining order against the minor child who was sending the text messages. The family member indicated to Newport Police Detectives that they did not wish to pursue charges; they only wanted the minor to stop sending the messages.

During the course of their investigation, Newport Police Detectives developed probable cause that Mr. Florez had called the minor and made several explicit threats to harm the minor.

On December 11, 2017, Mr. Florez came to the Newport Police Station with his attorney and was interviewed by Detectives. At the end of the interview, Mr. Florez was formally charged with Crank or Obscene Telephone Calls. Mr. Florez was processed and given a summons to appear in Newport District Court on December 13, 2017 for arraignment.

The arrest report has not been completed and will not be ready for release until December 13, 2017.

The Newport Daily News reports that Councilor Florez plans to fight those charges.

On November 22nd, Councilor Florez announced he would be stepping down from Council in January.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.