PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Senate on Tuesday confirmed former state Rep. Maria Cimini as director of state programs and services for the elderly.
The vote was unanimous.
Her confirmation fills a gap left by the resignation last summer of the former director, Rose Amoros Jones.
Jones resigned after a lawsuit came to light in which the agency’s former financial management administrator, Kathleen McNamara, accused Jones of firing her for refusing to take “improper and illegal” actions to cover up a deficit.
(The attorney general’s office denied the allegations, on Jones’ behalf.)
Cimini’s star has risen since 2014, when she lost her House District 7 seat, in Providence, to a Democratic primary challenger backed by then-Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.
She began work at the state’s Department of Human Services in 2017. Her most recent post was associate director of the Department of Human Services. Before that, she managed a statewide project under the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, aimed at providing “a pathway to permanent housing for individuals experiencing homelessness.”
She previously worked at the URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America for 11 years.
On the day McKee nominated her, Cimini said: “I am excited to join the Office of Healthy Aging and honored by the trust Governor McKee is placing in me to ensure that as older Rhode Islanders make their personal life decisions, they are supported and have access to resources they need.”
“The Office of Healthy Aging is an incredible resource for older adults, adults with disabilities and their caregivers. I am thrilled to get to work with the OHA team to fulfill its mission of access, connection and protection,” she said.