Updated March 27 at 6:24am

Chafee replaces Vareika nomination on EDC board


PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee has nominated Peter Crowley – owner of Newport-based La Forge Casino Restaurant – for the R.I. Economic Development Corporation board of directors.

Chafee’s recommendation replaces the recently withdrawn nomination of Alison Vareika, co-founder and co-owner of William Vareika Fine Arts Ltd. and mother of Chafee’s deputy communications director, Christian Vareika.

According to Alison Vareika, neither she nor Chafee believed there was any problem with her taking a position on the EDC board while her son served on the governor’s staff, adding that there had been “some unfair criticism over a perceived conflict.”

Chafee said he was pleased that Crowley – a native Newporter – had agreed to be nominated to the board.

“He understands Newport and Aquidneck Island and will bring that perspective to the board,” said Chafee in prepared remarks.

“The tourism and hospitality industries are among the strongest sectors of the Rhode Island economy, and as owner of a Newport restaurant I am well aware of their importance to our state,” said Crowley. “I am honored by the governor’s confidence in my experience and the value of my perspective.”

Crowley is a board member of Newport Federal Bank and Hazard’s Beach, and is a former board member of the Newport Trust and investment Committee.

He has been a member of the board of trustees of Salve Regina University for the last 20 years.


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