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Public transportation chairman to step down amid bus lawsuit

January 23, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority Board chairman has announced he is resigning amid conflict of interest concerns.

The Providence Journal reports Wayne Kezirian told fellow board members he is stepping down Tuesday.

Kezirian is the general counsel for Paolino Properties, which is suing the bus agency over projects in downtown Providence. The lawsuit says the projects will hurt property values.

Kezirian had been recusing himself from board discussions on matters related to downtown bus service.

He declined to discuss his decision to step down, but RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian says Kezirian previously told him he wanted to avoid becoming a distraction.

Gov. Gina Raimondo is responsible for naming a new nominee to the board, which will then be confirmed by the state Senate.

The board elects its chairman.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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