Manni to be named next RI State Police colonel

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Gov. Gina Raimondo plans to nominate Narragansett Town Manager James Manni as the new colonel of the Rhode Island State Police, the Target 12 Investigators confirmed Thursday morning.

Manni, a 57-year-old former state police major, would succeed Col. Ann Assumpico, who announced her retirement earlier this week. Assumpico, the first woman to lead the force, was appointed two years ago.

Manni retired in June 2015 after a 25-year career on the state police, serving in a variety of roles including as a member of the executive security unit and operations officer. He is also an expert on firerams, and was on the SWAT Team for 14 years.

Before the state police, Manni was a U.S. Secret Service agent, at one time protecting Ronald and Nancy Reagan during their White House years. More recently he co-chaired Raimondo's Gun Safety Working Group.

"Major Manni has had a long and respected career serving the state in law enforcement and local public service," Raimondo said in a statement Thursday afternoon. "He will undoubtedly continue the rich tradition of service at the Rhode Island State Police."

Manni described himself as "humbled and honored" by the appointment.

Raimondo also plans to nominate Trish Coyne-Fague as director of the R.I. Department of Corrections, succeeding A.T. Wall, and appoint Marc Pappas as director of the R.I. Emergency Management Agency, succeeding Peter Gaynor.

Coyne-Fague joined the Department of Corrections in 2000 as a staff attorney, and has been acting director since Wall's retirement in January. Pappas has similarly been acting director of RIEMA since Gaynor joined FEMA earlier this year; he has been with the agency since 2009, and before that was a Pawtucket police officer.

Raimondo singled out Coyne-Fague's work on reform efforts at the departments, which runs the Adult Correctional Institutions. "She's played an integral role to implement our nation-leading response to the overdose crisis and she worked closely with our team to develop, pass and implement the transformative justice reinvestment package during my first term," the governor said.

Raimondo said she was pleased to have Pappas in place before this year's winter storm season. "For nearly a decade, Marc has been a central figure in Rhode Island's emergency response, including the Great Floods of 2010 where he coordinated local, state and federal response," she said.

The nominations of Manni and Coyne-Fague are subject to Senate confirmation, while Pappas's appointment takes effect immediately.

Tim White (twhite@wpri.com) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook

Ted Nesi contributed to this report.

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