A 13-year employee of the Department of Public Works has been issued a “severe suspension” after his truck was stopped near Warwick Police headquarters containing about $2,000 of city equipment including a chain saw, assorted hand tools and cast iron pipe.
According to police reports, Detective Shaun Turcotte was conducting a surveillance of the city yard on Sandy Lane on Sept. 28 at about 8 p.m. when he saw a pickup, which was later identified as Kenneth Naylor of 14 Shady Hill Dr., West Warwick, approach the yard. Naylor allegedly unlocked the yard gate, entered and about 26 minutes later left the yard.
Naylor was then stopped on Veterans Memorial Drive near the police station. He told police he was coming from the city yard and was bringing articles in his truck to his residence.
Naylor said he was in the process of cleaning his yard and that the tools would be used for that purpose. He said the cast iron piping would be used to secure a sinking deck and spa and that a box of cloth rags found in a cardboard box labeled City of Warwick would be used to clean his truck.
Naylor, who consented to a search of his truck, told police it was normal operating procedure for him to borrow items from the city yard after consulting with his supervisor. In this instance, he said he did not consult with his supervisor. He offered no explanation how the pipes “were borrowed” if they were going to be used to hold up a sagging deck.
David Picozzi, acting director of the department, said there had been a practice of allowing personnel to use equipment on request, which has now been discontinued. He did not elaborate on the Naylor incident.
City Personnel Director Oscar Shelton said Naylor faces “severe suspension” and won’t be back at work for an extended period. He said the suspension was reached after talking with Picozzi and upon Naylor’s agreement that he would not grieve the action.
Also, Shelton said he has drafted a policy, which the department will implement, that DPW personnel face disciplinary action if found in the city yard between the hours of 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. without authorization.