NBC 10 I-Team: Former chief retires with $185K payout

North Providence Acting Chief Christopher Pelagio (WJAR)

The NBC 10 I-Team has confirmed the retirement of North Providence Acting Police Chief Christopher Pelagio, and the so-called ‘bust out’ check he received on Friday for unused sick, vacation and comp time.

The town’s controller told the NBC 10 I-Team that Pelagio officially retired on August 22nd. His compensation for unused time off totals $184,616 - according to controller Maria Vallee.

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers, according to the town: 2,729 hours of unused sick time, 34 days of unused vacation time, and 496 hours of unused compensatory time. The 27 year veteran is also entitled to a pension.

The retirement of Pelagio officially ended a turbulent time for North Providence Police. The former acting chief was suspended in July for his role in an incident involving a Cranston Police officer at a memorial ceremony two months earlier. Witnesses told Cranston police investigators that Pelagio acted aggressively toward a Cranston officer, and challenged him to a fight. The animosity reportedly had to do with a 20-year rivalry between the two men. Evidently, the Cranston sergeant had married Pelagio’s one-time girlfriend.

Pelagio was appointed acting chief in 2014. He and the rank and file often butted heads. He was seen on video in a heated shouting match with the police union president, and faced dozens of grievances.

Pelagio was also sued, along with the town, by the department’s highest ranking female officer, Lt. Diana Perez. Perez claims Pelagio allowed a sexually discriminating atmosphere to persist on the job, and made sexually charged comments to her, himself. Pelagio has denied the allegations. An internally-commissioned report by the town concluded many of the complaints to be unfounded. However, that report has no bearing on the federal lawsuit. Perez has been on paid leave for 16 months.

Last month, Mayor Charles Lombardi appointed a new chief, David Tikoian, to lead the department. Tikoian is a former Rhode Island state trooper.

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