PROVIDENCE – Gov. Gina M. Raimondo has reorganized her senior leadership team, promoting David Ortiz to chief of staff and moving Brett Smiley from that position to acting director of the state’s Department of Administration.
The personnel changes announced late Tuesday will take effect in January, after current administration department director Michael DiBiase leaves state employment to become president and CEO of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.
Ortiz, who will earn $185,565 as chief of staff, was previously senior adviser to Raimondo and before that deputy campaign manager for her 2018 reelection campaign. He has also served as press secretary for Raimondo, as well as General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and Providence mayors Jorge O. Elorza and Angel Taveras.
Smiley, who served as chief of staff to the governor since 2016, managed three budget proposals and ensured the passage of key legislation for her, including gun-safety improvements and health care protections, according to the governor’s statement.
He will earn $155,000 as acting director of the Department of Administration, where he will assess the department needs and begin a search process for a permanent director. The department oversees a variety of government functions, including budget offices, revenue, human resources and capital projects.
Before joining the Raimondo administration, Smiley served as chief operating officer for Elorza. He ran for mayor of Providence in 2014 but withdrew before the primary election and endorsed Elorza.
This year, he became entangled in a controversy involving the administration’s proposal to extend a lottery services agreement with International Game Technology PLC.
In late October, Marc Crisafulli, the executive overseeing Twin River casino operations in Rhode Island, said Smiley had threatened him with “consequences” if he publicly criticized the administration’s proposed deal for IGT.
Smiley has denied the accusation and the governor criticized Twin River for making it, as well. But House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello, in a statement, said it was a concern to him and that any threats would not be tolerated.
Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at email@example.com.
Want to share this story? Click Here to purchase a link that allows anyone to read it on any device whether or not they are a subscriber.