Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Steven G. O'Donnell, and Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) Board Chairman Mayor Scott Avedisian today announced that they have asked the State Police to look into the possible mishandling of public resources at RIPTA. Thursday night, Governor Chafee asked the Rhode Island State Police to secure RIPTA's internal records in an effort to protect potential evidence of wrongdoing within that agency.
Colonel O'Donnell has assigned Lieutenant Colonel Raymond B. Studley, Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Field Operations for the State Police, to coordinate the investigation and assist with the management of the agency.
"Serious allegations of wrongdoing have been made in the course of RIPTA's top-to-bottom review," Governor Chafee said. "Mayor Avedisian and I believe that these allegations are serious and that in order to preserve the public trust an investigation by the State Police is warranted."
"I want to make clear, though, that these allegations involve only a small, small portion of the total population employed by the State of Rhode Island, and should in no way reflect on the vast majority of hardworking, honest state employees," Governor Chafee continued.
"Mayor Avedisian and I have asked Lieutenant Colonel Studley to work with RIPTA to coordinate the investigation and assist with operations, identify process improvements, and generally assist the organization. He is a proven leader and manager and a man of unwavering honesty and integrity. He is there to be a resource and an asset," Governor Chafee concluded.
"We need to fix these problems as quickly as possible so that we get back to our mission of transporting people," Mayor Avedisian said. "I thank Governor Chafee and Colonel O'Donnell for putting together a team to assist us in putting RIPTA back on the right track."
Earlier this week, Governor Chafee announced that RIPTA had taken prompt steps in response to the discovery of a security systems breach at its Elmwood Avenue facility. This included the termination of three management personnel, with additional personnel action expected.
Lieutenant Colonel Studley, who will coordinate the investigation and work with RIPTA management and employees, is a 22-year veteran of the Rhode Island State Police. As Deputy Superintendent, he is second-in-command of the organization, and in his role as Chief of Field Operations he is responsible for overseeing both the Detective and Patrol Bureau and the Governor's Executive Security Detail.
Most recently, Lieutenant Colonel Studley served as the District "B" Commander of the Uniform Bureau. He also served as the Assistant Detective Commander, responsible for the day-to-day operations within the Detective Bureau. His previous Detective assignments include the Violent Fugitive Task Force (VFTF), Major Crimes Unit, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force (HIDTA), as well as the Rhode Island Fusion Center and the State Police Intelligence Unit. He also has served as the Division's Evidence Control Officer. Lieutenant Colonel Studley has also been assigned to all Division Barracks throughout the State. In 2009, he was appointed Interim Police Chief of the City of East Providence.
Lieutenant Colonel Studley is a 2011 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy in Quantico, V.A. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Consumer Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.