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Chief says arrest of worker ‘borrowing tools’ could open city to suit

Col. Stephen McCartney, chief of police, said yesterday his department “can’t go forward” with the arrest of a city employee who was found carrying city equipment and supplies in his truck.

McCartney’s comments came in response to calls for the arrest of Kenneth Naylor, who has been placed on suspension from his job at the Department of Public Works after being stopped by police on Sept. 28 at about 8:30 p.m. Police said they watched Naylor unlock the gates at the city yard and leave after about a half hour. He was then stopped near the police station.

Police said they found an assortment of city tools, as well as some pipes, that were valued at $2,000 in Naylor’s truck. Naylor, a 13-year city worker, said he was “borrowing” the equipment, although he had not sought that permission, to clean up his yard. The pipes were to be used to support a sinking deck.

As the department has allowed personnel to borrow equipment, McCartney said it would be a mistake for the city to prosecute and, if it did, it could open the city to suit from Naylor.

Rob Cote, organizer of the Car Tax Revolt, has been especially vocal about the case, bringing the matter up on talk radio, writing letters to the news media and speaking at public forums.

At Tuesday’s informational session, called by Mayor Scott Avedisian at the Pilgrim Senior Center, Cote brought up Naylor again.

Cote claimed there is no written policy allowing city personnel to borrow equipment.

“If it’s unwritten, it doesn’t exist,” said Cote. “This man should be arrested but it’s being swept under the rug because it’s a union boy. No one’s doing anything about it even though detectives were assigned to this.”

In response, Avedisian said the city would welcome an investigation by the State Police or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. When Cote asked why the Warwick Police Department doesn’t conduct the investigation, Avedisian said, “Because someone will say, ‘You investigated your own people and you swept it under the rug.’”

McCartney said yesterday, “If Mr. Cote is so concerned about the city coffers, he ought to think about that [the possible liability the city could face] for a minute.”

According to City Personnel Director Oscar Shelton, Naylor was “severely” disciplined. He did not say for how long Naylor was suspended without pay. Shelton also said the city has since adopted a policy that forbids employees from being in the city yard after hours without authorization.


Comments
15 comments on this item

It is hard for me to believe that the city would welcome an investigation by the FBI. If it has to happen so be it. But welcome one? How about potential lawsuits if the feds found something?

While the Mayor is inviting the FBI into the city, how about having them check out the Purvis situation?

The skeleton has to speak once again.....

I would like Richard Lanseth to investigate immediately! I voted for this guy not on style, but on substance. He is a man of integrity and ideas, albeit long winded, who could get to the bottom of this!

So police resources are are wasted on a stakeout. How can anybody trust this mayor, his staff and now the police chief. I thought at least the top cop had some integrity.

It doesn't matter union or not union something needs to be done about this, because he is not the first and won't be the last. I wonder how much it cost the taxpayers for the stake out, but that don't matter its only the taxpayers money they foot the bill for everything else. If I went to the dpw garage to "borrow" something I'd be arressted especially at 8:30 at night(sneaky you think?). The mayor and cheif need to use the pair their father put on them and do the right thing by the taxpayer. Its Rhode Island no more the ocean state it should be the corrupption state.

UNREAL. Thank you Rob Cote, keep it up. You apparently are Warwick's REAL MAYOR...

Borrowing at 8:30 at nite something smells really bad here and what could he possibly sue the city of Warwick over he was caught red handed Fire him try him in a court of law and let them decide what happens to him or does the Mayor of Warwick and the police chief have something to hide by not arresting this individual once again no justice for the taxpayer in the city of Warwick RI

I would like to know what "severely disciplined" is. There is no severe punishment except being fired. How long is the suspension? Probably 1 day longer than it stays in the papers. The mayor and his staff are a joke. The union should be throwing this guy out. But, apparently this is the accepted norm.

In the projo its says naylor told the police he was planning on calling in sick the next day to work on his and his neighbors yard. How insulting it is to taxpayers that we would be paying a perfectly healthy man to clean up his own yard.

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Only in Warwick can a jerk like Picozzi be allowed to cover this issue up. I wonder why. What does he have on others that frighten away legal action? We all know that he is best buddies with Avedesian. He treats his workers like dirt and he takes no accountability. Picozzi should be fired for turning his back all these years and allowing the taxpayer to be robbed blind. And how about Naylor? Enter his name into this site. Is this him? http://courtconnect.courts.ri.gov/pls/ri_adult/ck_public_qry_cpty.cp_personcase_setup_idx

If it is in fact him, these records reflect multiple charges for larceny and shoplifting, is this the kind of person that "borrows" stuff? Is it just me or is Barney Fife prosecuting this crime? This is the type of worker that Picozzi is protecting. Why? Maybe this guy should sing like a bird, wouldnt that be interesting, huh Dave? What type of "acting director" gets paid 112K and doesnt have control over inventory or even have a basic system of tracking. Dave Picozzi, thats who. Acting isnt the word to describe him, how about "incompetent director". Why is it that with the exception of his few quality tight buds like Naylor, does every guy at the DPW hate his guts. Scott Avedesian should be ashamed of himself as this is his company of friends and he continually covers for them. Maybe Scott has a soft spot for thiefs as this is not the first time he has covered for them. How about councilman Gallucci stealing the lobster meat. Avedesian is quoted saying "he is going through a tough time with a sick family member". This city's leadership is shamefull and embarrassing. All the DPW hard workers should go after Picozzi's record and the way he treats people and dime the guy out... Glad I am moving out.

Is this the Wild West? Bad precedent is brewing here. Chief M is not upholding the law! If the City is exposed to lawsuit, then so be it.

Wow! What a relief! Based on the chief's comments, I now know that if I get distracted and inadvertanly exceed the speed limit, the officer that pulls me over will have to consider the potential "cost" to the city as to whether to write the ticket since I might fight it. And here I thought all along that no what I might think of local politics, we are a nation of laws. Guess even the law is subject to political pressure.

This is like someone that stold the battery out of the zamboni. Anyone that steals should be prosecuded.

And I bet he has read that ordinance book from cover to cover. I would check Pawtucket and see if they came up with one back in 87. If so you may be able to find a comparison in Warwick books. There is no way you can be hired by a state or Municipality and have an open door

on taxpayer money.

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