Officer arrested for stealing gas will likely stay on

Officer arrested for stealing gas will likely stay on

PAWTUCKET – Kenneth “Kenny” Provost, an officer with the Pawtucket Police Department, was arrested last week after a months-long investigation found him repeatedly stealing gas from the city that employs him.

Provost turned himself in at the Scituate barracks last Wednesday evening, charged with misdemeanor larceny for stealing less than $1,500 in gas. He is due for arraignment in Sixth District Court on Aug. 23, according to online court filings.

City officials suspended Provost with pay just before his arrest. It was the “only choice” available given the circumstances, according to Mayor Donald Grebien.

The mayor conceded that officials will have a hard time firing Provost given the fact that the veteran officer is only being charged with a misdemeanor. "Probably not," he said. The fact that Provost has so many rights under the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights will only heighten the challenge, according to Grebien.

Provost is clearly “innocent until proven guilty,” said Grebien, but there is substantial video evidence against him. Officials will determine their “next course of action” based on whether he is found guilty or proven innocent, he said.

“We will be aggressive in whatever ways we can,” he said.

The Breeze reported in June that police had zeroed in on an officer in the department as the likely suspect in the case of the disappearing gas, and Provost’s name was being widely circulated at that time. The case against Provost is based on a review of hundreds of hours of surveillance footage from the town’s gas pumps on Armistice Boulevard.

NBC 10 went through records from the past three years and found “some strange patterns involving Provost.” He not only filled up his 2005 Ford Expedition before and after shifts, according to the TV station, but also appears to have filled up as many as three times in the same shift.