Charles Fogarty

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Separate Senate committees gave initial approval Tuesday to two of Governor Gina Raimondo’s nominees to lead state agencies. Both of the nominees held positions in the Chafee administration.

In the Senate Judiciary Committee, State Police Colonel Steven O’Donnell won unanimous backing to remain the director of the state Department of Public Safety. 

John Bender / RIPR

The state Senate has started scheduling confirmation hearings for four of the nomination made by Governor Gina Raimondo for her administration. The first four hearings center on holdovers from Lincoln Chafee’s time in office.


The confirmation process for Governor Raimondo’s nominees is slated to start next Tuesday. That’s when separate Senate committees will take up the nominations of Charles Fogarty as head of the Division of Elderly Affairs, and of State Police Colonel Steven O’Donnell to remain director of the Department of Public Safety.

Governor Gina Raimondo has made good on her pledge to find a place in her administration for former Department of Labor and Training director Charles Fogarty, nominating him to lead the Division of Elderly Affairs.

Fogarty served two terms as lieutenant governor and was the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2006, losing a close race to Republican incumbent Don Carcieri.

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is nominating one of her staffers, Melba Depena, to the post of director of human services, and a Maryland official, Scott Jensen, to head the state Department of Labor and Training.

Raimondo said the outgoing directors of the two departments -- Sandra Powell at DHS, and Charles Fogarty at DLT -- will take on new roles in state government.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s jobless rate edged down to 7.1 percent in November. It’s still above the national rate of 5.8 percent. The jobless rate has dropped two percentage points so far for the year.