Ex-Rep. Chris Fierro leaving Cicilline office for Chafee postJune 20th, 2013 at 12:29 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Fierro, 33, is leaving his job as Congressman David Cicilline’s district director after almost two years to take a new position as Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s pick to chair the three-member R.I. Board of Review, a quasi-judicial agency that hears appeals of decisions about unemployment and disability benefits, WPRI.com has confirmed.
The Chafee administration nominated Fierro on June 13, according to Wednesday’s R.I. Senate Journal. Cicilline’s office confirmed that Fierro has accepted the position, which is subject to Senate confirmation. Fierro would succeed Thomas Daniels as the board’s public member and therefore its chairman.
Daniels earned $100,725 during the 2011-12 fiscal year but Fierro will make $77,810, according to the state transparency portal and a Chafee spokesman. Daniels was appointed by Governor Almond and his term expired in 2007, according to the secretary of state’s website.
Fierro, a liberal lawmaker who backed Chafee for governor in 2010, was elected to the R.I. House of Representatives in 2008 but lost his 2010 Democratic primary to Rep. Robert Phillips. Before joining Cicilline’s office in August 2011, he worked for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, a labor group, and the Service Employees International Union.
Chafee was elected governor as an independent but joined the Democratic Party last month. He faces an uphill battle for re-election next year, with Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Treasurer Gina Raimondo also expected to seek the Democratic nomination for governor.
Cicilline’s deputy district director, former Bristol Town Administrator Diane Mederos, will serve as acting district director until a permanent replacement for Fierro is hired, according to his office.
“Today is bittersweet for me – I’ve been honored to work on Congressman Cicilline’s behalf and assist in his efforts to create jobs, stand up for seniors, and honor the commitments we have made to our veterans,” Fierro said in a statement issued by Cicilline’s office. “While I am looking forward to taking on a new challenge, I know that I will miss the challenges and opportunities that I have enjoyed over the last two years.”
“For the last two years, Chris Fierro has been an integral member of my team and played a key role in making sure that my Pawtucket office best served the interests of First District residents,” Cicilline said in a statement. “I congratulate him on his nomination today and wish him the best as he opens a new chapter in his career of public service.”
If confirmed, Fierro’s term as Board of Review chairman will expire on Feb. 1, 2019. Chafee’s office confirmed the appointment Thursday afternoon after it was first reported by WPRI.com.
The board’s other two members are Nathaniel Rendine, who represents organized labor, and Edward Lombardo Sr., who represents industry, according to its website. Chafee reappointed Lombardo this week to a new term that expires in 2017; Rendine’s term expires in 2015. Both were appointed by Governor Carcieri.