Governor Praises “Tireless” Service of Outgoing Receiver, Judge Mark A. Pfeiffer
Providence, R.I. – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced the appointment of Justice Robert G. Flanders, Jr. as Central Falls Receiver. Flanders will replace Judge Mark A. Pfeiffer, who has served as Receiver since July of last year under legislation authorizing state intervention in financially distressed communities. Flanders may also serve as a resource to other financially distressed communities, as circumstances warrant.
Flanders, who served for eight years as a Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, recently completed his term as Chairman of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, but will continue on the Board for a brief period until his successor is named and confirmed.
“I have known and respected Justice Flanders for a long time, and have come to value his insight and advice,” Governor Chafee said. “His judgment, his varied and extensive experience in government, law and education, and his dedication to the people of Rhode Island make him well suited for the position of Central Falls Receiver. I am confident that he has the ability, the background, the needed skills, and the commitment required to address the considerable challenges involved with transforming Central Falls into a successful community.”
Governor Chafee also praised the performance of Judge Mark A. Pfeiffer, who had served as Central Falls Receiver for the past six months. Pfeiffer retired from the Superior Court bench in 2009 and was asked by then-Governor Donald L. Carcieri to become the city’s first Receiver in July of last year.
“Judge Pfeiffer has made considerable steps in the very difficult task he accepted when he answered the call to serve as Receiver,” Governor Chafee said. “He has worked tirelessly and has sacrificed a great deal of time and energy on behalf of the citizens of Central Falls and the people of Rhode Island. He deserves great praise for all he has accomplished, and I am personally grateful to him. Additionally, his December report will be an essential resource to myself and Justice Flanders as we move forward.”
Justice Robert G. Flanders, Jr. was born and grew up on Long Island in North Massapequa, New York and graduated from Chaminade High School in Mineola. He then attended Brown University and graduated magna cum laude in 1971. While a law student at Harvard, Justice Flanders played minor league baseball for the Tigers and served as an editor of the Harvard Law Record.
After graduation from law school in 1974, Justice Flanders began his legal career as a litigation associate with the New York firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison. Returning to Rhode Island in 1975, he joined Rhode Island's oldest and largest firm, Edwards & Angell, where he became a partner and Chairman of the firm's Litigation Department while also serving as assistant executive counsel to the Governor of Rhode Island. He ran for and was elected to the Town Council of Barrington, where he served for two terms. He became the town solicitor for Glocester, Rhode Island and general counsel to the Rhode Island Solid Waste Management Corporation.
In 1987, he founded his own business and government litigation firm, Flanders + Medeiros. In 1996, after serving as special prosecutor for the Judicial Tenure and Discipline Commission and being chosen as one of five finalists by a judicial merit-selection commission, Governor Almond named Justice Flanders to a vacant seat on the five member Rhode Island Supreme Court.
On March 29, 1996, at age 46, Justice Flanders was sworn in as one of the five Justices of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. In 2004, after eight years of service on the Supreme Court, Justice Flanders resigned to return to private law practice as a partner in the law firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder. He has also served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the Roger Williams University Law School, where he has taught constitutional law and judicial process courses, and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law and Public Policy at Brown University, where he teaches courses on constitutional theory and the judicial process.
Justice Flanders serves as a member of various boards of directors and commissions, including the CARE New England Hospital system, Women & Infants Hospital (vice chair of the board), the Providence Performing Arts Center, the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the Rhode Island Historical Society, Common Cause of Rhode Island, the Brown University Leadership Advisory Council, and the Greater Providence YMCA, where he served as Chairman of the Board for a three-year term that ended on May 29, 2003.
He and his wife Ann live in East Greenwich, and have three adult children and two grandchildren.