Rhode Island’s Ethics Commission has ruled that Richard Licht, the director of the state’s department of administration, is free to pursue a judgeship.

Licht, 65, and a former lieutenant governor, had asked if the state’s ethics code prohibited him from seeking or accepting an appointment to the Rhode Island Superior Court.

A so-called revolving door ethics rule stipulates that someone holding “a senior policymaking position” on the staff of an elected state official must wait one year after leaving a position before applying to a job with a state agency.

But the commission voted that the rule does not apply to Licht “because he is not on the staff of any state elected official or of the General Assembly,” commission chairman Ross Cheit wrote in an opinion. Chafee, who will not seek re-election, made Licht one of his first appointees after winning the governor’s election in 2010.

WPRI.com reported that Licht hopes to fill the vacancy created by Judith Savage’s retirement.

Licht, the nephew of two-term governor Frank Licht, was lieutenant governor from 1985 to 1989 and ran for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in 1988 and 2000.

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