PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - North Providence's police chief allegedly stole more than $700 in cash from a stripper employed by the Satin Doll who also works as a prostitute, according to a Rhode Island State Police affidavit.
Chief John Whiting was arrested Thursday by the state police for allegedly stealing $714 from a purse following a police chase. Investigators also charged him with attempting to cover up the alleged crime.
Justina Cardoso, 21, of Pawtucket, said she works as a stripper and was a passenger in a car that Whiting chased last Sunday. She said she had earned $600 from a man she spent the night with at the Comfort Inn in Pawtucket and another $200 from the strip club. According to the affidavit made public on Friday, Cardoso said she did not recognize Whiting on the day of the chase.
The affidavit reveals that following the chase, Pawtucket police officer John Brown responded to the scene. After investigating the scene, Brown told state police he noticed that Whiting's arm was shaking and later Whiting told the officer "he had been having personal problems as well as problems with his wife."
According to the affidavit, Whiting then handed a wad of cash over to Officer Brown, admitting he lifted it from the chase vehicle, and stated: "I've never stole anything in my life and I know you like to go to Las Vegas, take this money and have fun, don't say anything about it."
State police tracked Cardoso down the following day. She said the car fled from Whiting because the driver of the vehicle had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. She said she left behind her purse containing the cash after the SUV they were driving crashed during the chase through Pawtucket.
"Justina stated that she had never seen the individual who chased them nor did she recognize him as a patron of a strip club where she worked," the affidavit states.
Cardoso told the state police she fled the scene because she also has an outstanding warrant against her. Court records show Cardoso has a pending blackmail and extortion case out of Central Falls from April 2010. A call to the Rhode Island attorney general's office regarding that case was not immediately returned.
Court documents say that on Tuesday, Chief Whiting phoned Officer Brown and told him not to say anything to the state police if they questioned him. State police were listening in on the call at the time, according to the affidavit.
Whiting "further encourage[d] Officer Brown to lie to his Chief and how to go about doing so in order that it is handled by [Pawtucket Police] Chief [Paul] King and not the State Police," the affidavit states.
Whiting was released on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned next Friday in District Court.
Whiting was the head of the North Providence Police Department for three years following 29 years as an officer in Pawtucket. North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi immediately suspended Whiting without pay after his arrest Thursday.
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