Retired cop caught stealing city gas, cashes in on pension - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Retired cop caught stealing city gas, cashes in on pension

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By: Alexandra Cowley

acowley@abc6.com

30-year-veteran Kenneth Provost, retired from the police department while he was being investigated by state police, for stealing gas from the city pump. That investigation came to a close, but the city is just beginning their own investigation.

On Friday, Provost plead no contest, was given a year probation, and was ordered to pay back the money state police could prove he stole from the city gas pumps. That was about 700  bucks, but the city isn't throwing in its towel. They're doing an investigation of their own, especially since Provost just cashed in big on his retirement.

"We feel violated just as any citizen would," said Tony Pires, the director of administration for the city of Pawtucket.

The last time we spoke to Tony Pires, he planned on firing veteran police officer Ken Provost. After finding out Provost stole city gas to fill his personal vehicles.

"That's a significant breach of trust," said Pires.

Provost beat Pires to the punch, retiring while state police conducted their investigation, guaranteeing his full pension and benefits.

"The city legally and lawfully has to pay the benefits,"said Pires.

Here's what Provost is getting: a one time payment of 46, 680 dollars in unused sick and vacation time. A pension worth 39,529 dollars. Plus health and dental benefits at 18, 403, every year for the rest of his life.

Pires said, "he's sitting pretty and the taxpayers are not."

Pawtucket residents say they're being cheated.

Richard Stephens said, "we're paying our taxes for what, for them to retire on the lap of luxury after committing a crime no, it's not right at all."

Which is why Pires says the city is hiring an auditing firm to check the books from the city pump and see if Provost, or anyone else, was stealing longer than the 3 months caught on surveillance video.

We were asked to leave when we went to Provost's home in Seekonk to get a comment, his lawyer has not returned our calls.

Pires said, "Theres a lot at risk and a lot at play here, and that's why the city needs to go forward and have its day in court.'

Tony Pires says if they're able to prove any more wrongdoing, it will be up to the city council to decide what to do with Mr. Provost's pension and benefits.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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