Political Connections Grease The Way Out of  Pawtucket Financial Moonscape


Remember that “Sit In” last Friday? 

“That moment when the head of a RI State Quasi won’t return your phone call.

So you take a seat in the Office. And Wait.”

Here, as they used to say, is the rest of the story …

Dylan Zelazo, the Director of Administration for the financially, ironically bond impaired City of Pawtucket, has failed upward, as predicted by the Coalition, appointed last night to be Executive Director of the Rhode Island Health & Educational Building Corporation. (RIHEBC)

(Failed Upward (Definition):

When sheer incompetence forces an individual out of an untenable employment situation into a promotion. See Peter Principle)

The Quasi-Public Agency “assists the state’s healthcare and private and public educational institutions in gaining access to low-cost financing for facilities construction and renovation.” (About Us – RIHEBC)

The salary is yet to be determined. His predecessor earned in excess of $200,000 per year.

The process for Mr. Zelazo was a tortured one. (See Video)

A National Search, coordinated by deposed, former Cumberland Mayor Bill Murray … a Charter Member of Dan McKee’s “Blackstone Valley Boys”. Zelazo, as described by Murray, somehow emerged from a field of over 70 resumes drawn from a national pool. (Or, as the late Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci might have described as an “intergalactic search” 

As acknowledged by Murray during yesterday’s Board Meeting, the critical support of Chris Hunter. Unfamiliar with Mr. Hunter? He is the Managing Director of Advocacy Solutions, as described:

“Advocacy Solutions is an award-winning firm that is dedicated to protecting and advancing our clients’ interests. We are not a law firm that occasionally does lobbying, or a public relations firm that dabbles in politics. We are a full-time, full-service firm committed to integrated public affairs.

Our diverse team members have prior experience as campaign operatives, lawyers, crisis managers, elected and state officials, and public relations executives. As a result, we combine what works — across sectors — to deliver results. Want to be heard? We can help.” 

Advocacy Solutions is a “supporter” of the Don Grebien Pawtucket Machine, and has been involved in the failed Pawsox Bid, the UHS “Pitch”, and of course, the troubled, bond challenged Tidewater Landing Project.

Irony abounds: Mr. Zelazo is currently spearheading the City’s troubled, ongoing efforts to simultaneously issue bonds for the City’s new Unified High School, critical repairs for Shea High School that threaten the High School’s accreditation, & the Tidewater Landing Soccer Stadium. The disclosure of the resignation of the Stadium Projects Bond Attorney months after it occurred, citing concerns about Tidewater, combined with the growing recognition that the City of Pawtucket simply may not be able to issue hundreds of millions of dollars certainly makes Zelazo an interesting choice.

Zelazo is replacing Kimberly Mooers, a 15 Year Financial Professional-Boston College MBA who left the Agency in November of 2023. Mr. Zelazo does not have an MBA, and brings forward just over a years experience as an Analyst at the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC)

Oh, and that sit in? On multiple occasions, the Coalition reached out for comment from the Chair of Rhode Island Health & Educational Building Corporation. (RIHEBC), Ms. Channavy Chhay, Chair, who is also the $176K Executive Director of the Center for Southeast Asians, simply ignored our phone calls

And since we are on the “Irony Beat”? Last night was to have been a showdown of sorts, between Zelazo and the Grebien Administration, and the Pawtucket City Council, over Zelazo’s failure to disclose the documentation surrounding Hilltop Financials resignation as Bond Advisor RE: Tidewater Landing.

Except the meeting was canceled. ‘Cause the roof and the City Hall Tower leaked.

The Tower that bonds had been issued to repair … how many years ago?

But the good news? Hilltop Financial routinely appears before RIHEBC. Hell, they were there last night.

As Rudy says? “Sleep Tite Vo Disland”



One Comment

  1. U Ottoknow (anonymous) says:

    Great article. It would have been even better had you been able to report that Kimberly Mooers did not leave voluntarily. I attended the August ’23 public meeting at which her contract was “not renewed not for cause”. NOT for CAUSE, and no reason was given. And, obviously, they didn’t have a successor. She basically was forced to serve as a lame duck through 11/30.

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