Former RI State Trooper pleads to filing a false document, ethics violation

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – A former member of the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) pleaded nolo contendere Wednesday to misdemeanor charges stemming from him conducting private business activities while on duty.

Lt. John Gibbs, 51, pleaded nolo contendere to one count of violating the state’s code of ethics and one count of giving a false document to a public official, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office said.

Lt. Gibbs received a one-year suspended sentence with probation and was ordered to pay $500 to the Victims of Crimes Indemnity Fund.

The Rhode Island Attorney General’s (AG) office said they were prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Gibbs was guilty had the case proceeded to a trial.

According to the AG’s office, Gibbs owned Ocean State Scale & Balance in 2018.  This business specialized in selling and servicing commercial scales.

In June 2018, the state police Commercial Enforcement Unit sought quotes for the purchase of new commercial scales.

Gibbs then solicited a quote from a competing commercial scale vendor, then shared that information with another business Gibbs’ company had an existing business relationship with.

That business was Commercial Scale & Balance in Massachusetts, according to the AG’s office.

Commercial Scale & Balance was initially awarded the RISP contract for commercial scales as the low bidder, using the information that they gained from Lt. Gibbs, according to the AG’s office.

The award was later revoked after it was challenged by a competing vendor.

The AG’s office says Gibbs violated the state’s code of ethics by “standing to benefit from a transaction that conflicted with the proper discharge of his duties as a state employee.”

Categories: News, Rhode Island