May 26, 2022

While awaiting prison term, ex-North Providence police chief can take Caribbean cruise

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Close up of Censored press text with stampBy Mark Reynolds From Providence Journal

North Providence, R.I. — As he waits for Supreme Court intervention that would save him from a six month prison term, former North Providence police chief John Whiting has stayed in Fort Myers, Fla., and this week he has permission to take a Caribbean cruise.

Whiting was convicted in 2012 of stealing $714 and then trying to persuade a Pawtucket police officer to take the stolen cash and keep it.

Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Procaccini sentenced Whiting to a six month prison, plus probation, and released him on personal recognizance, pending the outcome of his appeal in Rhode Island Supreme Court.

An order entered in Supreme Court on Nov. 5, gives Whiting permission to take a cruise to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, embarking on Nov. 15 and returning on Nov. 20. The office of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin did not object, says the order.

The order also says Whiting has abided by the terms of his bail and it refers to Whiting’s authorization to stay in a vacation home that he owns in Fort Myers. On his return to Fort Myers, Whiting, must report to Kilmartin’s office, the order says.

While driving his town-issued vehicle, Whiting had a roadway encounter with a woman and her two male companions during Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 28, 2011. He then pursued the trio through Pawtucket at speeds of 60 mph. Their vehicle crashed and the three fled into the woods.

At trial, Procaccini determined that Whiting had taken $714 from a large purse-style wallet that the woman left behind when she ran away.

Whiting did not immediately present the money to the investigating officer who arrived at the scene. The officer, whom Procaccini found highly credible, testified that Whiting told him to have fun with the money in Las Vegas and not to tell anyone about it.

Also, before he turned over the money, Whiting did not follow the standard police procedure of sitting down with the officer and counting the money in his presence.

Whiting formally resigned from the North Providence Police Department about one month ago, according to Mayor Charles A. Lombardi.

Prior to that, said Lombardi, the former chief had been suspended without pay. The town had been waiting for the Supreme Court to resolve the appeal but it recently asked Whiting to appear at a hearing before the personnel board, Lombardi said.

“I felt enough was enough,” he said. “We had to move forward. Apparently John chose to move on, which I think was the right choice.”

IMAGE: The Providence Journal / Andrew Dickerman

Former North Providence Police Chief John Whiting was found guilty of steal

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