Convicted Police Chief to get pension from city of Pawtucket

By Liz Tufts

ltufts@abc6.com

The North Providence Police Chief convicted this month, of stealing more than $700 from a stripper will likely be able to keep his pension from his old job in the Pawtucket Police Department.

     Col. John Whiting stands to get a pension of more than $5,000 a month. Before Col. Whiting was North Providence's Police Chief, he served on the police force in Pawtucket for more than thirty years. Despite being convicted of a crime earlier this month, Pawtucket officials say there's no legal basis right now to take his pension away.

     Colonel John Whiting stands to lose his job as chief of the North Providence Police Department now that he's been convicted of stealing from a stripper. But he very well could keep his pensionfrom his old job at the Pawtucket Police Department.
     City officials say they've found no evidence to take it away.

     “It's not the role of government to confiscate monies that were lawfully earned by someone,” said Tony Pires, the Pawtucket Director of Administration.

     Pires says he and the mayor have taken several factors into consideration.
     One being the fact that Whiting committed the crime after he worked for the Pawtucket Police.

     “We looked at that. If he performed in an honorable manner during his employment here with the city, he's entitled to the pension,” said Pires.

     That pension equals out to $5,131 a month. He's also entitled to cost of living increases of 3% a year.
     
     “It's a significant amount of money. But, again, he earned it over a period of time. And the question is: Should the city confiscate that pension, we have to be very, very careful.”

     Some taxpayers say the decision is simple.

     “He should not be collecting a pension whatsoever if he broke the law,” said one person who lives in Pawtucket.

     This decision is not final just yet. The city's personnel board is looking everything over and will come to a final decision in the next three weeks. Whiting will be sentenced in September.