NORTH PROVIDENCE – A veteran police officer in North Providence is out of a job after he was caught spending hundreds of hours at home while he was supposed to be on the job.

Two department sources said that Gerald Fuscellaro was facing potential prosecution by but agreed to resign and pay restitution to the town instead.

A tip from a resident led to an inquiry into Fuscellaro, and that investigation found him spending more than 800 hours at home on Salem Drive when he was supposed to be working. He was thus found to have accepted some $25,000 he wasn’t entitled to. According to one source, the hours paid for time at home stretched over two years.

Chief of Police Alfredo Ruggiero Jr. told The Breeze after an inquiry that Fuscellaro “voluntarily left the agency under his own accord,” but with restrictions in the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, said Ruggiero, “I can’t make a statement” beyond that.

Ruggiero confirmed that Fuscellaro began with the department in 2005 and that he had 17.6 years of experience when he officially resigned on May 17.

Lt. Tom Jones, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 13, said he had no comment on Fuscellaro’s resignation.

Mayor Charles Lombardi wouldn’t confirm or deny when asked specifics about the allegations against Fuscellaro.

“You seem to have all of this information already, why are you asking me?” he said.

Town labor attorney Vincent Ragosta did not return calls for comment.

The North Providence Police Department has had its share of controversies over the years, including:

• Officer Scott Feeley keeping his job despite dozens of departmental infractions this year, following a 2-1 vote by a LEOBOR panel;

• Former Chief Chris Pelagio being suspended and losing his job over multiple incidents and accusations, including harassment of Lt. Diana Perez and an altercation with an officer in Cranston;

• Multiple accusations against and a suspension for Lt. Dennis Stone, including confrontations with Pelagio, wearing his uniform while testifying at a town meeting, failing to serve subpoenas in an assault case, and omitting facts in getting a warrant to arrest another resident, which that resident said led to his assault by police;

• Former Chief John Whiting serving prison time and resigning after his 2012 conviction for stealing $714 from a woman he’d followed in a high-speed chase from Pawtucket after she’d allegedly cut him off during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, and then trying to solicit a Pawtucket officer to cover it up;

• And former Sgt. Michael Ciresi receiving a 20-year sentence for burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, receiving stolen goods, harboring a criminal, attempted theft and obstructing justice after the robbery of a drug dealer’s apartment in Pawtucket in 2004, among others.

(8) comments

The NP Kingdom

This police department has always operated at the behest of whoever the mayor was at the time. Sal Mancini started it all, with his grandfatherly looks and iron fists and he only tolerated people that were loyal to him. It is such an incestuous town because of so many people packed into its neighborhood. The nepotism is still in full force in in Lombardi’s regime. So my point is, that if you are one of Mayor’s “Guys”, any disobedience to the rules or guidelines that an officer has to abide by is met with the turn the cheek hush hush policy. Unless a neutral party investigates and blows the whistle on you, it never comes to light. When the Mayor “finally” finds out (he knew the whole time!) he withholds any comment and almost chastises news reporters for asking him about the issue.

The Mineral Spring Kid

Wow, what a mess! Mayor Lombardi looks like the poster child for why LEOBOR was created…….”wax my car Charlie.” I thought Chief Whiting got sick Charlie……that’s what you said in your journal editorial response to David Doucet. Now I find out he went to prison for stealing cash from a stripper. Too bad you didn’t do a thorough background on Whiting……you would have heard some great stories of his activities in the Pawtucket PD rear parking lot!

RIgirl

Why dont they investigatetl the cops that sleep in their office or sleep in the back lot of the police station. Seems like they singled this one officer out. Charlie Lombardi picks and chooses his favorites. Vote him out!!!!

Cumbres80

All cops should switch over to the fire department. That way, they can sleep in a nice bed and not get into any trouble for it.

mpatrick

“You seem to have all of this information already, why are you asking me?” asked Lombardi. Umm, because you're the mayor, and ostensibly in charge of what goes on in all departments in your town. A little touchy there, Mr. Mayor? Hitting a little too "close to home" so to speak?

Seems like it's one (negative) thing after another with that police department.

David A. Doucet

So the fish rots from the head, as they say. One need only ask what the common denominator is to all of these issues (which is only a partial list of issues and controversies) It's the mayor, and how he operates. I'm still waiting for him to accept responsibility for anything that has ever been wrong with the police department. He places plenty of blame on others, but accepts none.

The Mineral Spring Kid

Mr. Doucet get down to town hall and wax my car…..ok, and I check back with youse in a little while to see house you doin. The King of Nort Providence. And by the way we are twice the size of that Central Falls.

The Mineral Spring Kid

Hey you Doucet, get down here to town hall and wax my car, and youse better do a good job, because I be by later to check how youse did, ok? Yours Truley, King of Nort Providence, Charlie.

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