Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has hired Ernest "Ernie" J. Carlucci, a former deputy district director for Congressman David Cicilline, as his chief of staff. The move comes as Kilmartin faces a re-election challenge this year from state Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown).
Carlucci is taking a post vacated by Michael Morrissey, who is leaving to spend more time with his family, according to Kilmartin spokeswoman Amy Kempe. Kempe says the change is unrelated to election-year politics.
To some Democrats, however, the move to hire an experienced operative like Carlucci is a signal that Kilmartin takes seriously the challenge from Hodgson, who has been outspoken on 38 Studios and some other issues.
Carlucci has most recently worked as field representative for Local 1033 of the Laborers International Union. Before working as a congressional staffer for Cicilline, he had been parking administrator in Providence and an administration director in Cranston City Hall.
Kilmartin "has known Ernie for a number of years and he has been impressed with his management skills and his experience," Kempe says. "The AG believes Ernie will be a good fit as chief of staff."
Morrissey had previously been VP of government relations for Fairpoint Communications and AT&T when Kilmartin picked him as chief of staff in December 2010.
Carlucci's first day on the new job will be Monday.