Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation have confirmed that the board of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will be taking a vote Wednesday afternoon that could land current incumbent Mayor of Warwick, Scott Avedisian, as the new CEO of the state agency.
Rumors had been circulating for months that Avedisian would not seek reelection this November, and was possibly courting opportunities from a variety of other government agencies, however the mayor had not confirmed any of these rumors and was mum on whether or not he was seeking another term, a political position he has held since 2000.
GoLocal Providence first broke the news on Tuesday afternoon that the RIPTA board would be voting in closed and public sessions on appointing a new CEO during their Wednesday afternoon meeting, and that Avedisian was a candidate for the position. The Beacon was able to confirm this report as well, however there is no guarantee that the board will vote in favor of Avedisian for the role. The current interim CEO of RIPTA is Amy Pettine, who has been in the role since Oct. 1 of 2017.
Requests for comment sent to Avedisian's office and the director of public relations for RIPTA, Barbara Polichetti, were not immediately returned. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung declined to comment on the development at this time through a spokesman. Calls to City Council President Joseph Solomon and Ward 5 Councilman Ed Ladouceur were also not returned right away.
Former Mayor of Warwick and governor Lincoln Chafee squashed rumors that he would take the possible void of Avedisian as an opportunity to run for public office in Warwick again. He extended that statement to squash rumors he would run for governor this year as well. Chafee was governor when Avedisian was appointed to the board of RIPTA in 2011, a post he held for five years until resigning in 2016.
There will be additional details on this developing story in tomorrow's Cranston Herald and in Thursday's Beacon.