NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A suspended Middletown police lieutenant was convicted by a jury Wednesday of crimes related to altering and falsifying police reports and computer data, according to Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha.
Richard Gamache had been charged with felony intentionally accessing, altering, damaging or destroying a computer and the misdemeanor of giving false documents to an agent, employee or public official.
The charges dated back to 2018, when police said he falsely claimed his girlfriend was an informant in a narcotics investigation, in imminent danger, and lobbying for her to get a Section 8 housing voucher. It was granted, and she received at least $8,124 in housing assistance she wasn’t eligible for.
The claim that she was an informant was made in a letter he wrote from the department, according to court documents, and he also went into the department’s computer system to list her as a witness on a case that, in truth, she had no involvement with. He also deleted seven arrest reports, four incident reports, two social security number entries and an accident report ─ which detectives said involved Gamache’s son.
The verdict “reaffirms that law enforcement in no way is above the law,” said Middletown Chief William D. Kewer in a statement. “This also validates that the Middletown Police Department have safeguards in place and our personnel have the highest level of integrity who will bring violations of law forward, even if it involves a superior officer.”
Kewer noted Gamache had been suspended without pay upon his arrest.
A judge set bail for Gamache at $50,000 with surety according to the Rhode Island Judiciary’s website. He’s set to be sentenced on April 16, but Gamache’s attorney, Mark L. Smith, is filing a motion for a new trial, and a hearing on that is set for March 19.
Previously, Gamache had been charged with one count of domestic simple assault, but the charge was dismissed when prosecutors could no longer reach the complaining witness.