Convicted felon appointed to West Warwick pension board resigns

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WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A convicted felon that was appointed to the West Warwick pension committee resigned Monday before Town Council could vote on whether or not to remove him from his post.

Jerry Leite, who’s also an appointed member of the Board of Assessment and Review, was placed on the pension committee by a 4-1 vote during the council’s Feb. 5 meeting.

Leite was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $1,152 in restitution after pleading no contest to a 2001 felony embezzlement charge out of East Providence.

Court records show he admitted to taking more than $2,100 in sports items that had been donated for the 8th Annual Steven M. Shaw Memorial Golf Tournament. Shaw was a Providence police officer who was shot and killed while on duty in 1994.

Last week, Leite defended his appointment and refused to resign from his post. He cited the Rhode Island Constitution which states a convicted felon can attain an office “three years after the date of completion” of their sentence.

The Town Council was set to vote at the weekly meeting Tuesday night. Leite did show up to the meeting, but a Town Council member read a statement on his behalf announcing his resignation.

In the statement, Leite said he was “keeping the best interests of the town in mind” when deciding to resign. He also said he wanted to resign before the Town Council could set a precedent by voting him out.

It’s unclear if Leite also resigned from the Board of Assessment and Review.

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