Rhode Island Department of Corrections Director Ashbel T. Wall II has announced the promotion of former Senior Legal Counsel Kathleen Kelly of Narragansett, R.I., to Chief Legal Counsel. Ms. Kelly replaces Patricia Coyne-Fague who was recently promoted to Assistant Director of Administration.
Kelly joined the RIDOC's legal team in June 2005 having served as a criminal prosecutor with the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office for eight years. As Director Wall noted in the announcement of her promotion, "Kathy came to us with an excellent reputation, as she had successfully prosecuted the gamut of criminal cases, from simple assaults to murder. The Attorney General's loss was most certainly our Department's gain, as Kathy's skill as a litigator has been extremely valuable to us."
Ms. Kelly has advocated for the RIDOC in state and federal courts and before the R.I. Supreme Court, where she has often succeeded on the Department's behalf. Her knowledge of the criminal justice system is critical to the functions of the Department, particularly in the areas of good time calculations and sentence determination. She has also mastered civil law and procedure and performed admirably in her role as legislative liaison.
Ms. Kelly received her Bachelor's degree from Rhode Island College in 1991 and her law degree from New England School of Law in 1995. She has been an adjunct professor at the Community College of Rhode Island since 2000.