Gov. Lincoln Chafee appointed John "J.R." Pagliarini of Warwick chief of staff to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., the agency under fire for having provided a $75 million loan guarantee to failed video-game company 38 Studios LLC.
Pagliarini, a 30-year public sector veteran who will begin Jan. 4, most recently was a senior executive advisor and former senior advisor to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. He was also state director for Chafee when the latter was a U.S. senator.
Chafee said he was following the recommendations of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council think tank, which in September called for an overhaul of the EDC.
Three weeks earlier, the governor named William Parsons executive director of the quasi-public agency.
38 Studios, owned by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in June. The EDC in 2010 provided the company the loan, backed by the state's moral obligation. After interest, Rhode Island taxpayers are on the hook for more than $110 million, according to bankruptcy court documents.