If confirmed, Richard Leclerc would lead Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities.

PROVIDENCE − Gov. Dan McKee − without any announcement − has appointed Richard Leclerc, the retired president of Gateway Healthcare, as the new director of the state’s sprawling, $327-million-a-year Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.

The appointment came to light at 5:29 p.m. on Friday when the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services scheduled a confirmation hearing for Leclerc next Thursday.

The governor’s office has not yet responded to inquiries about why this cabinet-level appointment was not announced, but Sen. Joshua Miller, the chairman of the committee that will hold the confirmation hearing, confirmed on Friday night that he and other senators met with Leclerc earlier this week.

Richard Leclerc, retired president of Gateway Healthcare, has been named as the new director of the state's $327-million-a-year Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.

Miller said Leclerc made a good impression and has the kind of background he personally considers important in the top job of the state agency that oversees the state-run hospitals and a wide array of mental-healthcare programs.

“To me it is always important to have a provider-perspective and he’s a long-time provider and I think that is really important,” Miller said.

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