PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — R.I. Department of Corrections Director Patricia Coyne-Fague will step down in January after five years in the job, Gov. Dan McKee announced Tuesday.

Coyne-Fague has led the department, which oversees the state prison in Cranston, since she replaced A.T. Wall in 2018. She had previously served as assistant director and has been with the department for nearly a quarter-century.

The governor’s office said her resignation will take effect on Jan. 13. An interim director has not yet been named.

“I’d like to thank Director Coyne-Fague for her efforts during my administration and her decades of state service,” McKee said in a statement. He said they would work together on “a smooth transition for this important agency.”

“As a lifelong Rhode Islander, I’ve been extremely blessed to have met and worked with so many talented and compassionate people,” Coyne-Fague said in a statement, adding, “I am confident the department will be in very good hands going forward.”

Coyne-Fague’s departure will add to the growing list of state departments which will start the new year without a permanent director.

Most of the vacancies are in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, which itself lacks a permanent secretary. There is currently no permanent director at the Department of Health; the Department of Human Services; and the Department of Children, Youth and Families.

In addition, the Department of Business Regulation also lacks a permanent director after Elizabeth Tanner moved from there to succeed Stefan Pryor as secretary of commerce. Health Insurance Commissioner Patrick Tigue recently stepped down, as well.

Ted Nesi ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook