Time To Go
Exactly one year ago, our four-month Hummel Report investigation showed a Pawtucket Police major spending work days on the golf course or at home - with built-in overtime that he approved, whether he worked it or not. On Monday, facing a potential demotion, the major retired. The irony: He walked out the door with more than $70,000 of ``unused’’ sick days and vacation time.
Click here to watch our original report, Major No-Show.
Hummel: A year ago this week we told you about a Pawtucket Police major spending his work days on the golf course or at home. On Monday, facing a potential demotion, he decided after 30 years it was time to call it quits, and retired.
Our four-month investigation found that Major Bruce Moreau, who oversees the patrol division, spent days at his house in Lincoln, his parents’ house in Pawtucket, or playing golf on various courses miles from headquarters - when he was supposed to be working.
Since our story first ran many have asked: What is the city doing in reaction to our investigation, after state police determined there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the 30-year veteran of the department?
Mayor Donald Grebien has said repeatedly that state law does not allow him to comment about whether his administration was seeking departmental charges against the major. But The Hummel Report has learned the city was going full steam ahead with a Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights hearing and Moreau faced the potential of being demoted - which would affect his pension - or possibly terminated, depending on the outcome of the hearing.
Pires: ``I think he realized the time had come for him to leave.’’
Public Safety Director Antonio Pires would not elaborate, again citing the officers Bill of Rights. So we asked the question many have asked us periodically over the past year.
Hummel: ``A lot of people have said to me why has it taken so long to get from there to here. What’s been going on the last year?’’
Pires: ``It’s a difficult process. We were originally criticized, folks said he should be suspended and sent home. That’s just against my DNA - I can’t send someone home and have them sit at home while they’re getting paid - the irony of that of course is that what got the individual in trouble in the first place.’’
By leaving now Moreau will soon begin collecting a pension that is 70 percent of his final pay. That translates to $5,750 a month, or $69,00 year.
By contract he also collect $34,601 for unused sick days.
$22,490 for unused vacation days
$2,768 in holiday pay
$1,475 for Cleaning and Clothing allowances
And $9,624 in Longevity pay.
For a total lump sum payment of just under $71,000.
We have learned that one of the reasons state police did not file criminal charges is because the city’s record-keeping system was so abysmal.
Hummel: ``Our story showed numerous of instances where the major was not at the station - either on the golf course or at his parents’ house or his house on days where the records you provided us indicated that he was. It didn’t rise to a criminal charge because of some problems on the city’s end, in terms of loose…’’
Pires: ``…record keeping and policies and procedures. The concern here was the record keeping didn’t give us what would be the ability to go forward or the state police to go forward with a criminal investigation or an indictment because some of those records were not adequate.’’
Pires says a new system should be fully up and running by mid-February.
Hummel: ``If that system had been in place a year ago would we be looking at a potentially different outcome?’’
Pires: ``I think so. I think it would have been more difficult to bypass the system that was one of the issues and certainly the record keeping would have been much stronger. Would have been a basis of stronger evidence in regard to any other investigations.’’
Our investigation also showed Moreau using his city-issued car for personal trips, violating a city ordinance.
Hummel ``Has that caused you to revisit the policy or to tighten it up?’’
Pires: ``We’re concerned about that every day. There’s a reminder, whether it be police or it be Department of Public Works, etc., we’ve tried to do the best we can to tighten that up.’’
Hummel: ``Was he ever disciplined for that?’’
Pires: ``I don’t want to get into any specifics with regard to that. I think ultimately the issue you brought forward, and the city is grateful for that, is that was an element of grave concern, especially with somebody of that high a position, it’s not really what you want to see your command staff doing because they’re supposed to lead by example.’’
Pires says the administration is still considering implementing a GPS system for all city vehicles that was approved by the city council earlier, adding that cost and logistics have made it a challenge so far to execute.
This is the first time Pires has spoken on camera about our original investigation.
Hummel: ``When you saw that report last year what was your reaction to it?’’
Pires: ``There’s a level of integrity, that if you have it, you don’t need GPS systems you don’t need sophisticated record-keeping systems. You know what you’re responsibilities are and you fulfill them as an honorable human being. It’s really that simple.’’
In Pawtucket, Jim Hummel for The Hummel Report.