PROVIDENCE — Governor Lincoln Chafee wasted little time in finding a successor to East Providence’s George Caruolo as the chairman of the soon-to-be seated Board of Education, tappingnoted area attorney Eva-Marie Mancuso for the top post of the newly-created body.
In a press release Saturday, Dec. 22, Gov. Chafee announced his choice of Ms. Mancuso, who has served previously on the former Board of Governors for Higher Education. Ms. Mancuso is a former Rhode Island assistant attorney general. She is currently a partner with the Hamel, Waxler, Allen & Collins firm in Providence.
Gov. Chafee’s original choice for the position, which takes effect when the board is formally installed in January and upon confirmation of the State Senate, was Mr. Caruolo, the long-time city and state pol.
It was announced late Friday afternoon, Dec. 21, Mr. Caruolo opted to decline the Governor’s offer, citing personal and professional reasons.
Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Deborah Gist released a glowing statement about Mr. Caruolo Friday. Words of regard for the former State House of Representatives Majority Leader continued Saturday.
Said East Providence’s Helio Melo, the House Finance Committee Chairman, “George Caruolo did an outstanding job as chairman of the Board of Regents and would have been an excellent leader of the merged education board.
“However, I understand his concerns about the commitment, and I wish him well. The merger will continue and I look forward to the Governor making his appointments to the new board in the very near future.”