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Controversial Trump backer assigned to Bermuda

A controversial businessman who helped to make his family's beauty products firm into “one of the largest private companies in the United States” is to take up a diplomatic post in Bermuda, it was revealed yesterday.

The US State Department said that Lee Rizzuto Jr will become the Principal Officer at the US Consulate General.

He will succeed Constance Dierman, the current US Consul General — a post which is also known as the Principal Officer of the US Consulate in Bermuda.

Ms Dierman took up her post in June 2018 for a three-year assignment.

However, it was understood she will depart “soon” because Mr Rizzuto is expected to arrive this summer.

The UK's MailOnline reported that Mr Rizzuto contributed $449,000 to Trump's presidential campaign political action committee in 2016.

Mr Rizzuto was nominated by Mr Trump two years later for the ambassador's post in Barbados, but he failed to get Senate confirmation.

The Principal Officer post at the US Consulate in Bermuda does not need confirmation by the Senate.

A State Department spokeswoman said Mr Rizzuto would “lead a team whose mission is to protect US citizens in Bermuda and deepen the strong economic and cultural ties” between the two countries.

She added that Mr Rizzuto helped to develop Conair, his family's personal care products business, over 30 years “into one of the largest private companies in the United States and introduced over 1,000 new products”.

The spokeswoman said: “At Conair, with offices in Asia, Europe, Australia, and Latin America, he was senior vice-president for professional global business units.

“He increased sales from $25 million to $300 million within the Pro Group and was credited with over 25 US patents.”

She added that Mr Rizzuto is a past chairman of the Professional Beauty Association.

Mr Rizzuto was also the creator and publisher of Style Source magazine, which “became the global leader in beauty industry publications”.

The spokeswoman said that Mr Rizzuto had served as a fire commissioner as well as on several civic and cultural boards.

UPDATE: this story has been updated to include information that shows Lee Rizzuto Jr will succeed the present US Consul General.

Lee Rizzuto Jr

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Published May 28, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated May 28, 2020 at 8:34 pm)

Controversial Trump backer assigned to Bermuda

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