Rhode Island: Board of Elections fires embattled executive director Robert Kando | Providence Journal

With the primary election less than two weeks away, the state Board of Elections on Wednesday voted 4-to-2 to fire its controversy-prone — and twice suspended — executive director Robert Kando. After the vote, the chairman, Richard R. Dubois, told reporters: “There’s a history, but we’re moving because we want someone who is a little more innovative.” Effective immediately, he said, Bob Rapoza, the director of elections who took then-suspended Kando’s place during the presidential primary in April, would take charge as the acting executive director. “We just have to move on,” said Dubois, whose elevation to the chairmanship in June, along with the appointment by Governor Raimondo of two new members to the board broke the long-running stalemate over Kando’s future as the $145,994 a year head of the state board that presides over campaign-finance reporting, ballot counts and many other election-related activities.

Rhode Island: Board of Elections: Executive Director Kando suspended | Providence Journal

With tempers flaring and voices raised, two Board of Elections board members stormed out of a monthly board meeting Wednesday night while another criticized Executive Director Robert Kando’s job performance. Within hours, Kando was suspended without pay for 30 business days beginning Monday, which means the suspension will last through the state’s presidential primary day, April 26. The reason: He failed to sign up in January for management classes he was directed to take in connection with his last suspension. Disorder first ensued when board member Stephen P. Erickson began reading a previously undisclosed directive Kando was given in 2013 after he introduced legislation on the board’s behalf without its knowledge. The letter said Kando was directed to produce reports to the board about his legislative activities — something that has not consistently happened.

Rhode Island: Board of Elections: Kando keeps job, with conditions | Providence Journal

Robert Kando, the $143,131 executive director of the Rhode Island Board of Elections, must enroll in management classes and will face a 15-day unpaid suspension from his post. The seven-member board met behind closed doors for 45 minutes Monday to determine Kando’s fate, concluding — at least for now — a months-long saga concerning Kando’s job performance. Kando, who has been executive director since 2005, was due to be terminated on Tuesday, unless the board took alternate action. The board voted 5 to 0 with one abstention Monday to nullify the pending termination, issue the temporary suspension beginning Feb. 1 and require Kando to enroll in three semesters of management classes at an educational facility of his choice. At the conclusion of three semesters, the board will review Kando’s performance and his relationship with the board. Kando will not be allowed to take vacation time during his suspension.

Rhode Island: No shortage of acrimony at Board of Elections |Providence Journal

A battle has been brewing at the Board of Elections. It’s been a tumultuous year for the agency that’s charged with ensuring the integrity of the state’s electoral process. Its $143,131 executive director, Robert Kando, is set to be fired in January unless the board decides before then that he has made significant improvements. Since making that decision, however, the board — one of the few where the governor-appointed members are paid — has still struggled to get through the simplest of endeavors. Last week, shouting ensued over the mundane task of approving the meeting minutes, as board members said that Kando had drafted minutes intended to disparage board members who have taken issue with his performance.

Rhode Island: Common Cause objects to Board of Elections’ closed-door session | Providence Journal

The Rhode Island Board of Elections met in executive session for more than two hours Thursday night and may have taken a vote that it does not plan to disclose to the public. Following the rare night session, during which the shouts of board members could be heard beyond the chamber’s closed doors, Raymond Marcaccio, the board’s legal counsel, said the board was not bound to disclose any vote that took place because it involved a personnel matter, and the employee is entitled to privacy. “In my opinion, what occurred in this executive session would not qualify for any of the reasons to disclose a vote at this time,” Marcaccio said. The board has not identified who was the subject of the meeting where, at one point, someone was heard shouting from behind closed doors that people were on a “witch hunt.”