PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Daniel Dolan has “irrevocably resigned” from the Pawtucket Police Department, the city announced Tuesday, as efforts to fire him were underway.
A Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) trial was being held to determine if the city had grounds to fire Dolan. Hearings began on Aug. 8 and were scheduled to continue through Dec. 8.
The city released a statement saying it had prepared a “compelling case” for Dolan’s termination.
“With the LEOBOR trial set to resume shortly, Dolan opted to voluntarily submit his irrevocable resignation of employment, thus avoiding further costly and inherently uncertain LEOBOR litigation, and purging Dolan from the otherwise proud ranks of the Pawtucket Police Department with finality,” the city wrote.
The city had been trying to fire Dolan since he went on trial for shooting a teenager while off-duty in June 2021. While he was cleared of all criminal charges in January 2023, Mayor Don Grebien said in February that he still had concerns about Dolan’s conduct.
“We really just wanted to get him off the department, it’s tainting Pawtucket,” said Mayor Grebien.
Dolan, 40, was separately arrested in Coventry this past September on charges of driving under the influence, reckless driving, and threat to public official. He allegedly threatened to shoot police officers after he was taken into custody. He’s due in court next month for a pretrial conference in that case.
When asked for comment, Dolan’s attorney released a statement on his client’s behalf.
“Dan Dolan has always lived by a strong sense of duty and honor, as displayed through his lengthy service as a Marine and a police officer,” the statement read. “Following the events of September 2 of this year, the LEOBOR case was no longer just about the shooting incident, for which he was fully vindicated by a jury. Following that sense of honor, we worked with the city for a just and reasonable resolution of the pending termination proceedings.”
Following his acquittal in January, Dolan started collecting paychecks again, and he received nearly $124,000 in back pay for the time he spent on unpaid suspension. He remained on paid leave as the LEOBOR process played out.
Under state law, the city is required to pay out Dolan for vacation and comp time, which equates to nearly $21,000, according to a spokesperson for the city. (Dolan has accrued 536 hours of vacation time, totaling $20,204.79, as well as 27 and a half hours of comp time worth another $777.47, the spokesperson said.)
The city also agreed to pay for a year of family medical and dental insurance in the “best interest of Mr. Dolan’s two young children.”
“Ultimately, there was no guaranteed certainty that Dolan would be found guilty, and rather than paying anywhere from $60K-$80K for an uncertain LEOBOR trial result, the mayor made a decision in the best interest of the taxpayers with one year of health/dental insurance,” the spokesperson explained. “The mayor is pleased that we achieved the most important goal in all of this, which is ensuring that Daniel Dolan will never be employed with the Pawtucket Police Department again.”
The spokesperson told 12 News that Dolan wasn’t with the department long enough to collect a state pension. He will, however, be able to take out the money he contributed.
Dolan’s resignation takes effect on Thursday, Nov. 30.
James Howe, the attorney who represented the teenager who was shot by Dolan and the victim’s two passengers, released a statement calling the news of Dolan’s resignation “both joyous and troubling.” He claimed that Dolan “represents all that is wrong with policing” and criticized the city for the closed-door deal, saying it allowed Dolan “to shield himself from public scrutiny.”
However Grebien said this is the best they can do through the LEOBOR process.
“I apologize [to] the family, this is very difficult but in the end they got what they wanted,” said Grebien. “They wouldn’t have gotten any more at the end of it. It’s the same outcome.”