EXCLUSIVE: Top State Official Booted Out of Powerful Agency
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Earlier this year, GoLocalProv reported that environmental groups had been urging Governor Lincoln Chafee to remove Mike Tikoian as the chairman of the state Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC). Those groups cited longstanding conflict between Tikoian and the executive director of the agency, Grover Fugate, as a main reason for their calls for his ouster.
In his place, Chafee has nominated Anne M. Livingston, a Jamestown attorney and chair of the town’s Democratic Committee, to serve as the new chairman of the CRMC, according to sources familiar with the appointment.
“That’s what we’ve been told,” said Livingston, when contacted by GoLocalProv for confirmation of her appointment.
State rep praises change
Livingston was one of four appointees that were submitted to state Senate yesterday for confirmation, according to Senate spokesman Greg Pare.
The other nominees are: Guillaume de Ramel of Newport; Tony Affigne, of Providence; and Raymond C. Coia of Cranston. (De Ramel is a former candidate for Secretary of State and Affigne is a professor of political science at Providence College.)
Tikoian, whose term expired this year, was not on the list of appointees.
Tikoian caught up in Champlin’s Marina controversy
Tikoian, a partner at the RI accounting firm of Piccerelli, Gilstein & Company, LLP, was first named to the CRMC in 1993, and appointed chair shortly afterwards by then-Governor Lincoln Almond.
Most recently, Tikoian was barred by the state Supreme Court from participating in the Block Island Champlin’s Marina decision because he improperly consulted with other council members outside of council meetings. The CRMC program is currently being reviewed by the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has raised questions about personal conflicts with the CRMC executive director, and the work of the Council’s legal counsel.
Earlier this year, Chafee appointed Tikoian to the state Board of Governors for Higher Education. At the time, his office said the appointment would not necessarily affect his position on the CRMC.
Tikoian declined to respond to a request for comment yesterday.
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