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Robert Warren makes himself a useful fall guy

I met Robert Warren, the now-former director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, when he taped Newsmakers with Jack White and myself a few years ago. He seemed like a decent guy, although I didn't appreciate it when he failed to return a call on a subsequent story. Whether that was chance or a reflection of his sense of public responsibility, who knows? Yet when Warren took part yesterday morning in a revealing interview with John DePetro, it became clear that he was working on borrowed time.

The news release from the governor's office (printed here in its entirety) is conspicuously bare of details about why Warren has been axed:

Governor Donald L. Carcieri today announced that Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Executive Director Robert Warren’s state employment has been terminated, effective immediately.  The decision was made jointly by Governor Carcieri and Major General Robert Bray, to whom the EMA Executive Director reports.

Major General Bray, the Adjutant General of the State of Rhode Island and the commanding general of the Rhode Island National Guard, will assume the responsibilities of EMA Executive Director until an interim replacement is named.

Was the DePetro interview the final straw that brought Warren down? That seems pretty plausible, although the ProJo buried that conversation in its story today.

At the very least, Warren, by making himself into a convenient fall guy, has helped the governor to lower the storm-related boom on someone.

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