PROVIDENCE – Common Cause of Rhode Island is urging Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee to withdraw his pick for interim higher education commissioner, arguing her appointment would violate state ethics rules, The Associated Press reported last week.
The governor recommended this month that Eva-Marie Mancuso serve as interim commissioner while a search is underway for someone to fill the post permanently. She is currently chairwoman of the newly formed R.I. Board of Education.
In a letter to Chafee, Common Cause Executive Director John Marion said Mancuso’s appointment would be a violation of the ‘‘revolving door’’ ethics provision because elected or appointed officials are prohibited from serving, for one year, in paid positions requiring approval from the body on which they serve, the AP said.
Mike Trainor, a spokesman for the Board of Education, said Mancuso is seeking an advisory opinion from the R.I. Ethics Commission. The board voted last week not to discuss the appointment in executive session, as planned, and to defer the issue to its next meeting, Trainor told the AP.
Chafee said he stands by his choice and that the commission could grant a waiver allowing the appointment. •