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slides: Corrupt Providence Officials and Their Pensions

Thursday, August 27, 2015


See how much some of Providence’s most infamously corrupt officials are making in pensions. 


Related Slideshow: Pensions for Corrupt Providence Officials

Below is information on the official misbehavior of corrupt former city officials and how much they are getting in pensions. Total payment figures cover 2010 through 2015 and are calculated using the 2009 pension payment. The number provided is a rough estimate. Because the pension has increased each year, the total amount paid should actually be higher than the estimated amount.  

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Urbano Prignano

The Police Chief under former Mayor Buddy Cianci, Urbano Prignano admitted under oath during the Operation Plunder Dome trial that he had given a cheat sheet to an officer taking a promotional exam. Prignano said he had done so for fear that the candidate would allege racial discrimination were she denied promotion. Prignano left his position in 2001. His eventual replacement was Dean Esserman. 

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Urbano Prignano Pension

Retirement Date: February 1, 2001

Current Annual Pension: $74,915

Total Paid Since 2009: $411,343

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Martin Hames

Major Martin Hames was another senior Providence Police Department official implicated in the testing scandal during Operation Plunder Dome. A 2003 investigative report commissioned by the Police Department noted that Hames, who had served as chair for the promotional board of at least one of the exams, had knowledge that the officers taking the exam had been given a cheat sheet. 

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Martin Hames Pension

Retirement Date: June 30, 2004

Current Annual Pension: $76,799

Total Paid Since 2009: $421,690

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John Ryan

Capt. John Ryan was the third member of the Providence brass caught up in the testing scandal. In 2008, after the city retirement board moved to cut his pension, Ryan sued. The state Supreme Court ruled in his favor in early 2011, holding that under the old Honorable Service Ordinance a criminal conviction was necessary for pension revocation.

Ryan’s attorney told the Boston Globe the retirement board had acted unfairly. “If you ever cheated in school, if you ever cheated while you were on your job, does that mean you lose your entire pension?” he asked. 

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John Ryan Pension

Retirement Date: June 11, 2002

Current Annual Pension: $32,519

Total Paid Since 2009: $178,555

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Kathleen Parsons

Kathleen Parsons was a Parks Department supervisor who was found to have embezzled $26,000, according to an audit. She later pled no contest to criminal chargers but was still eventually granted a full pension. 

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Kathleen Parsons Pension

Retirement Date: April 5, 2005

Current Annual Pension: $22,740

Total Paid Since 2009: $136,442

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Frank Corrente

A former top aide to Buddy Cianci, Frank Corrente was convicted on six corruption charges including racketeering, bribery, and extortion conspiracy in 2001. Corrent’s pension was initially suspended, then reinstated at a partial amount corresponding to his first period as a city employee, which was not covered the corruption chargers. The city has spent almost $200,000 fighting the partial pension. 

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Frank Corrente Pension

Retirement Date: July 4, 1999

Initial Pension: $70,575

Reduced Pension: $22,231

NOTE: After his conviction on federal corruption charges in 2001, Corrente’s pension was suspended. He served four and a half years in prison. After his release, the retirement board voted in August 2008 to allow him to collect a reduced pension. But those payments have been suspended pending the outcome of the legal action. 


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