Dylan Conley elected chair of Providence liquor board

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence Board of Licenses has another new chairman.

Dylan Conley, a 30-year-old lawyer, was elected Tuesday by his colleagues to lead the powerful panel that processes more than 8,000 business licenses each year and handles disciplinary matters, such as underage drinking or fighting in bars.

Charles Newton will remain vice chairman of the board.

Conley replaces former state Sen. Juan Pichardo, who resigned from the board last week after Mayor Jorge Elorza called for him to step down over the board’s postponement of a show-cause hearing for Penthouse nightclub. (The board has since revoked the club’s business licenses.)

A graduate of Boston College and Florida State University College of Law, Conley works for his father’s law firm and serves as adjunct professor and advisor at Roger Williams University, according to a resume provided by the city. He is the son of state Sen. William Conley, an East Providence Democrat.

Conley becomes the fourth chair of the licensing board since Elorza took office in 2015. Before Pichardo, the Rev. Jeffrey Williams and attorney Johanna Harris each held the position.

Commissioners for the licensing board are nominated by the mayor but must be confirmed by the City Council. Board members earn $19,713 a year – as chairman, Conley will make $26,850 – and generally meet about three times each week.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan