Westerly Council Fills City Part-Time Positions | West

WEST — The city council has chosen its attorneys and land use attorneys, judges and city sergeant for the new term.

The board filled the part-time positions at its Dec. 12 meeting, when it also interviewed the candidates.

Attorney Robert E. Craven, state representative for District 32, North Kingstown, was selected as assistant prosecution counsel.

Craven’s 39-year career includes work in the attorney general’s office and in private practice. He pursued cases for Charlestown as an assistant attorney.

“I applied because I enjoy this kind of work and the interaction with police officers,” Craven said.

Craven knew City Manager Shawn Lacey when Lacey was Westerly’s prosecutor in Washington County District Court.

As for the prosecutor’s role, Craven said it was “the first level of opportunity for someone to deal with whatever issues they have.”

He touted diversion court programs for veterans and, for mental health cases, opportunities for offenders to have their cases dismissed.

Craven will work on Westerly’s lawsuits in court on Fridays. He works on the Charlestown lawsuits on Thursdays.

“It’s not uncommon for an experienced prosecutor to deal with more than one municipality,” he said.

Craven was reelected to his sixth term as a state legislator in November.

For assistant counsel for planning and zoning, the board reappointed Scott D. Levesque, a Providence attorney with litigation experience as well as work on land ownership and use issues.

He was a planning consultant in Hopkinton for over eight years, as well as in Barrington and Smithfield.

“Municipal land use is what I do,” Levesque said. “It’s something that excites me.”

He has worked on Westerly’s overall plan and numerous applications and issues before the city’s planning board since 2018 and the zoning board since last year.

The board also filled two judgeships: it appointed Leo F. Manfred II as municipal court judge and reappointed Mr. Linda Urso as probate court judge.

Manfred, a Westerly attorney, has served as Westerly’s attorney on several occasions since 1996.

“On small matters relating to municipal court cases, they are not as heavy as in district and higher courts,” Manfred said. “But they are just as important to the people of this city. They need to be respected, and I believe I can do that, and be fair and very mindful of their mental health.

The council chose Manfred over sitting judge and Westerly lawyer Tia M. Priolo, who also applied and interviewed for the position she has held for two years.

Urso, another longtime Westerly attorney, has served as a probate judge for more than 20 years. He also fills the role in Hopkinton.

The council made no changes to the position of city sergeant-at-arms, renaming Patrick Falcone Jr. He has held the position since 2014.

As a police officer for decades and a long-serving former captain of the Westerly Police Reserve organization, and since being an employee of the McQuade Water Department and Market, Falcone is well known in the city.

“He’s doing a great job,” Council Chairman Edward Morrone said. “We love him personally, respect him professionally and he’s a very good cook.”

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