I-Team: Fired police officer fights dismissal
A Providence police officer who was fired from his job after admitting to having sex with a witness is fighting his dismissal in court. He says he resigned before he was fired.
It's a distinction that the former officer is trying to make to any future employer. City officials are pushing back.
Former Providence police officer Khatch Kazandjian was fired in January by a hearing committee under the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights.
The veteran officer admitted to state police that he had sex, while in uniform, with a woman he helped during a domestic violence call in May.
Officials said the officer drove the 19-year-old woman out of the city to a friend's home in Pawtucket without alerting anyone at police headquarters.
While Kazandjian was away, sources said a call went out over the radio for shots fired in his district. He wasn't there.
In this latest legal maneuver, Kazandjian says he resigned before getting an official termination letter. Public Safety Commissioner Steve Pare said he doesn't buy it.
"We have seen some cases mostly recently that police officers when they're faced with a bill of rights that may turn career-ending for them, they want to resign abruptly when it may not go favorably," Pare said. "That's just gaming the system."
Pare told the NBC 10 I-Team that there is no pension at play, saying it's a legal issue and future employment issue for the former officer.
A Superior Court judge will make a decision.