2 North Providence police officers charged with stealing union funds
NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A North Providence police detective and a retired lieutenant are both facing several charges related to stealing funds from the town’s police union.
Retired Lt. Dennis Stone and Det. Christopher Petteruti have both been charged with multiple counts of embezzlement and fraudulent conversion of funds, according to court documents.
Stone, who retired from the department a week ago, served as the union president and Petteruti served as the union treasurer.
According to court documents, both men stole funds from the North Providence Police Union for personal use dating as far back as 2014.
Petteruti is accused of using funds to play in poker tournaments and with making cash withdrawals from ATMs.
Stone is accused of using stolen money at Twin Oaks Restaurant and other retail establishments. He’s facing additional charges of falsifying tax returns.
North Providence Police Chief Alfredo Ruggiero confirmed to ABC 6 News that Stone retired from the department Jan. 24.
The chief said Petteruti has been suspended without pay.
The amount of money stolen by the two officers has yet to be released. However, North Providence Mayor Charlie Lombardi said the amount is “rumored” to be more than $150,000.
“We are very disappointed of the actions of the two officers involved in the pending allegations,” said Ruggiero.
The chief added that the department fully cooperated with the investigation that was conducted by the attorney general’s office and the Department of Labor and Training.
“What happened here does not reflect proper policing and if these allegations are found to be true, it was wrong and it was criminal,” said Ruggiero.
“There are 64 men and women in the North Providence Police Department and we are not represented by two members who made poor choices,” emphasized the chief.
All counts the two officers are facing are felonies. Both men were arraigned in court Tuesday.
According to Lombardi he wasn’t surprised at all by these charges.
He said these officers should’ve been fired a long time ago.
“There was interference with operations, the filing of grievances unnecessarily. All they did was cause the town the union and their brotherhood a lot of money,” Lombardi said.