Attorney Jose F. Batista nominated Exec Director of PERA
PROVIDENCE EXTERNAL REVIEW AUTHORITY TO NOMINATE LOCAL ATTORNEY TO SERVE AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE– Providence, Rhode Island – January 29, 2019– The Providence External Review Authority (“PERA”) has concluded its search for an executive director and will submit their nomination of local attorney Jose F. Batista to the Providence City Council for confirmation next month.
PERA was established in 2002 by Providence City Ordinance to provide a system of civilian oversight over the Providence Police Department. The purpose of PERA is to investigate allegations of misconduct on the part of officers of the Providence Police Department, to make findings of fact and to make recommendations of potential disciplinary action to the Chief of Police.
The Providence City Council passed the Providence Community-Police Relations Act (“PCPRA”) in June 2017, which expanded the powers of the PERA Board, which had been dormant for approximately ten years. After a robust public engagement process, nine members were appointed by the Providence City Council and the Mayor in February of 2018.
Since that time, the PERA Board has sought input from various community leaders, organizations and stakeholders regarding best practices in police oversight and community outreach. Using this input, PERA began its search for an executive director.
At the conclusion of this deliberative national search for an executive director, the PERA Board selected Mr. Batista out of a broad and diverse applicant pool, citing his commitment to social justice and his experience as an attorney, both as a prosecutor and public defender, as key reasons for his selection.
“The Board was extremely impressed with the depth and caliber of the applicant pool for this position,” said Alison Eichler, Chairwoman of the PERA Board. “However, Mr. Batista clearly stood out as the right person to lead PERA. We are confident that his varied experience, thoughtful and balanced approach to civilian oversight and ability to work with all stakeholders will ensure PERA’s success.”
Regarding his nomination, Mr. Batista said the following: “As a life-long resident of Providence, I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve PERA in this critical role. I have spent much of my life dedicated to community issues and I look forward to continuing this work as Executive Director of PERA.”
Jose F. Batista is a Rhode Island attorney with a bilingual solo practice in South Providence, specializing in criminal defense, family law and personal injury. He is also a part-time criminal prosecutor for the City of Pawtucket. He is a graduate of Roger Williams University School of Law, earned his bachelor’s degree in business management at Bryant University, and is a graduate of Classical High School.
To learn more about PERA, contact Chairwoman Alison Eichler at PERAChair401@gmail.com.