- Associated Press - Friday, March 1, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee has voted unanimously in support of reappointing the director of the Department of Children, Youth and Families, despite a no-confidence vote by social workers.

More than a dozen people spoke in support of Trista Piccola during the committee hearing Thursday, including Family Court Judge Michael Forte.

Forte says the department is always under the microscope, and Piccola “understands but is not intimidated by this enormous responsibility.”

Union social workers voted overwhelmingly against Piccola after the recent death of a 9-year-old girl.

Union president Kathy McElroy says the director does not listen to front-line staff when they raise concerns.

The full Senate will take up Piccola’s confirmation in the coming days.

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