Kilmartin's office confirms investigation of police union election

Kilmartin's office confirms investigation of police union election

NORTH PROVIDENCE - A representative for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has confirmed that his office is investigating the circumstances surrounding a controversial local police union election held over the summer.

Amy Kempe said officials have met with Chief Paul Martellini over complaints about the election, and that the matter "is currently under review."

The Breeze reported last month that the national Fraternal Order of Police filed an unfair labor practice complaint over what officials deemed Martellini's "disturbing" decision to seek a state investigation into the election of union officers. Labor specialist Jack Parlon wanted to know why the chief would jeopardize four years of contract negotiations by "interfering" in union business.

Martellini, who last week announced his intention to leave the North Providence chief's job for a position in state law enforcement, said he had no choice but to seek an investigation after two officers who lost their races brought complaints to him about discrepancies with the July election. There could even have been criminal conduct involved here, according to Martellini.

The complaint to Martellini about the election came from union members and former executive board candidates Michael Gawel and Kevin Guindon, who alleged, among other things, that they had more than enough pledged votes to win but ended up losing when election results were announced.

Former union vice-president Dennis Stone ended up being elected president of the local North Providence FOP # 13 over Gawel.

Stone has not commented on the election.

Parlon originally suggested that Martellini might want Gawel as president so he would have "his guy" in and be better able to control the union.

Mayor Charles Lombardi defended Martellini, saying the chief would have been fired if he hadn't followed protocols and called for an investigation after complaints were brought to him.

Comments

Smells like a rotten fish. These back room things that get out in the fresh air kinda make you ask what is the use of a union. The union fights their own membership, calls them every name in the book and charges them monthly dues for the privilege for taking the garbage thrown at the membership. Maybe "Right To Work" isn't such a bad idea even in North Providence, RI.
Unions have gotten out of hand and are not beneficial for the membership or the taxpayers, time to face the facts, unions are NOT helping to prepare for competition in the workforce. If you don't believe that just look at cities/towns across the country that have outsourced their police or fire departments because they were not competitive. And the last guys to cash out are the unions not their membership, the members got outsourced.

Dealing with a Mayor Lombardi you need two unions. The Police have not had a contract since 2009. Maybe as a taxpayer you are not aware of this but the police continue to do their job. They could have called a sick out and paralyze the police department and taxpayers but they took the high road and come to work everyday. The Mayor continues to fight with every union causing $$$ in attorney fees. The best part about his fighting is that he continues to loose being penny wise and pound foolish. He needs to be called out on labor expenses by the council and residents of NP.They would be astonished at the amount and results.