I-Team: Judge upholds officer's firing

Khatch Kazandjian

A Superior Court judge on Monday upheld the firing of a former Providence police officer, who was terminated for having sex on the job with a witness.

Khatch Kazandjian argued that he quit before he was technically fired. But the judge rejected that argument and said the firing will stand.

Kazandjian was a veteran Providence police officer with almost 15 years on the job when a night of questionable decisions derailed his career. He admitted having sex in May 2012 with a 19-year-old woman he met while responding to a domestic violence call.

Kazandjian drove the woman home after breaking up a fight with her boyfriend. There, inside her apartment, surrounded by drugs and drug paraphernalia, they had sex.

While this was going on, sources told the NBC 10 I-Team that a call for shots fired went out over the radio. But Kazandjian wasn't there to respond.

Chief Hugh Clements moved to fire Kazandjian in January.

The former officer requested an Officers' Bill of Rights Hearing, but two of the three committee members voted to terminate him on Jan. 25. That same morning, court documents show Kazandjian learned of the decision and quickly submitted his resignation.

Justice Alice Gibney ruled the former officer couldn't quit because he had already been fired, writing that the law does not give an officer the right to "unilaterally nullify that decision by racing to submit his or her resignation."

"We've always maintained the behavior of Mr. Kazandjian was unacceptable in this profession and a result he should be terminated from the Providence Police Department," Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said in a statement Monday.

As for his pension, the department told NBC 10 that Kazandjian withdrew his contributions without applying for his pension. But if he had applied, the city would have fought it, saying he served dishonorably.