Chafee Picks Cicilline Aide Fierro for RI Board of Review

Jun 20, 2013

Governor Lincoln Chafee has nominated Congressman David Cicilline's district director, Chris Fierro -- an early supporter of Chafee in 2010 -- to chair the Rhode Island Board of Review.

Fierro, a former state rep from Woonsocket with strong ties to labor, faces Senate confirmation. The governor's office says the job will pay between $77,810 and $88,177.

Per news release:

The Rhode Island Board of Review is an autonomous, quasi-judicial agency created by Rhode Island General Law. Its primary function is to hear and render decisions on appeals arising from the Department of Labor & Training (DLT), Unemployment Compensation and Temporary Disability Insurance divisions, and from employers on certain contested tax status issues. The Board of Review is statutorily independent from the Department of Labor and Training.

When an individual is separated from employment, DLT makes an initial determination of eligibility for benefits through a fact-finding interview with the employee (claimant) and the employer. An appeal can be made by the claimant when the benefits have been denied, or by the employer when benefits have been awarded to the claimant. Once an appeal is made, the case enters the jurisdiction of the Board of Review and a hearing is scheduled before a hearing officer (Referee).

Fierro has been Cicilline's district director since 2011. He was previously a research specialist with the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program, and had also worked for the Service Employees International Union, District 1199.

Cicilline says he's selected his deputy district director, Diane Mederos of Bristol, to serve as acting district director.

Via news release, Fierro says:

“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,” added Fierro. “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.”

The term for chairman is a six-year appointment.

This post has been updated.