Guilty Rhode Island Boss Keeps Pension

Alan R. Gouveia, serving a prison sentence for embezzling from the E. Providence (R.I.) Fraternal Order of Police, will not lose his $27,122-a-year city pension. Acting on advice from the city solicitor William F. Conley, Jr., members of the local police and firefighter pension board decided Mar. 14 not to take action to revoke or reduce Gouveia’s pension.   Conley said he reviewed the criminal complaint against Gouveia, as well as relevant legal precedents and the city’s honorable-service ordinance, and concluded that there was no basis for the city to act. When Gouveia committed the embezzlement, Conley explained, he was “acting as an agent for the FOP lodge and not as an employee of the city.”

After pleading guilty to embezzling stealing $26,190 while serving as FOP treasurer to support his drinking and gambling habits, Gouveia was sentenced in Jan. by Superior Ct. Magistrate Joseph Keough to 10 years’ imprisonment, with nine months to serve and the remainder suspended. Gouveia also was required to make restitution for $26,190, or face more stringent punishment. According to Mark Norton, who took over the treasurer’s post from Gouveia in 1997, about $ 100,000 had not been accounted for. Norton said the FOP intends to go to court to recover the $ 65,000 that it
believes Gouveia stole.

The embezzlement case prompted Councilman Rolland R. Grant, a retired police officer, and Councilman Peter F. Midgley to sponsor an honorable-service ordinance, which allows the city to reduce or revoke the pension of a police officer or firefighter convicted of a crime related to their employment by the city. [Providence J.-Bull. 3/15/01]