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City reviewing whether convicted councilman should keep pension

Providence

Former Councilman Luis Aponte declined to speak to Target 12 outside his home following his resignation. (File photo)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The city’s law department is reviewing whether former City Council President Luis Aponte’s embezzlement conviction should preclude him from getting a pension.

The former councilman has already been receiving his pension, which is $502.36 per month, according to pension administrator Jill Reese. He got his first check on Sept. 30, including retroactive payments back to his “retirement date” of July 30.

Aponte resigned following his felony embezzlement plea, where he admitted to taking thousands of dollars from his campaign account for personal use. He was sentenced to probation, with no jail time.

Reese told the the city’s retirement board on Wednesday that Aponte’s pension application was processed as normal, with no requests from the city to delay or deny the pension payments.

Assistant City Solicitor Ken Chiaverini said the law department was still reviewing the embezzlement plea, and will issue an opinion next month on whether the conduct was related to Aponte’s position as a city councilman.

Chiaverini told the board he would review “how the actions, the embezzlement, if in fact it related to the employment.”

If it does, Chiaverini said the retirement board could set up hearings to possibly revoke or reduce the pension.

The board voted to accept Aponte’s pension for now, but Chiaverini said it would not preclude them from taking action against the pension going forward.

Steph Machado (smachado@wpri.com) covers Providence, politics and more for WPRI 12. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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