Taveras Calls for New Ethics Standard on Pensions

Friday, January 07, 2011


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Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is calling for an amendment to a city ordinance that says employees may receive their pensions only if they rendered “honorable service.” Taveras said the ordinance needs to be revised after the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the existing law allows a pension to be revoked only if someone is convicted of a criminal offense.

“While we will respect the ruling, I am disappointed that the Court took such a narrow view to defining honorable service as anything other than a criminal conviction. Under my administration this will not be the standard. I will take immediate action to significantly revise the City’s Honorable Service Ordinance working in collaboration with the Providence City Council,” Taveras said in a statement.

The state’s highest court made the ruling in the case of a retired Providence police officer, John Ryan, who was implicated in a testing scandal at the department.

“Corrective action to the Honorable Service Ordinance is necessary to ensure that those who engage in inappropriate and unethical behavior do not receive pension benefits,” Taveras said. “In addition, such action will also recognize the vast majority of City workers who serve with integrity every day and who are disrespected when those who serve dishonorably are rewarded.”

Taveras’ office said his administration would “initiate corrective action immediately.”

Council President Michael Solomon yesterday announced that he supported the plan to revise the ordinance.


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