PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - North Providence Police Chief Col. John J. Whiting has been arrested, State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell said Thursday.
Whiting turned himself in to state police earlier this afternoon. He is charged with one count of larceny over $500 and two counts of obstruction of justice.
Police say Whiting stole $714 from a purse left behind in a vehicle that crashed after a car chase in Pawtucket. He allegedly tried to return the money to a Pawtucket patrolman an hour later and asked the officer to cover up the crime, but the patrolman reported it to his supervisor.
- The Providence Journal: North Providence police chief charged in theft
North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi said Whiting has been suspended without pay. Deputy Chief Paul M. Martellini will serve as acting chief.
Lombardi appointed Whiting as the city's police chief in November 2008 following the sudden resignation of former chief Ernest Spaziano. Whiting was a veteran police officer in Pawtucket.
Before becoming chief, Whiting played a key role in a joint investigation into North Providence police Sgt. Michael Ciresi, who was convicted of burglary after a 2004 home invasion in Pawtucket, The Providence Journal reported. Spaziano testified on Ciresi's behalf during the trial.
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