WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Warwick officials announced Wednesday they audited pensions and benefits coverage after discovering a former city councilor allegedly applied for and erroneously received city-sponsored medical coverage.

According to Mayor Frank Picozzi’s office, former City Councilman Steven Merolla received health insurance benefits for two years. Merolla allegedly applied for the benefits four years before he was eligible.

A spokesperson for Picozzi said a city ordinance requires retired councilmembers to be 60 or older to qualify for post-retirement medical benefits. They must also have been elected before Feb. 19, 2009, and have served three or more two-year terms.

“Mr. Merolla was a councilman before I took office,” Picozzi said in a statement. “His ineligibility surfaced recently when another former councilman applied for his post-retirement benefits and it was discovered that the ordinance was incorrectly applied in Mr. Merolla’s case.”

When the error was discovered, the city stopped Merolla’s health insurance coverage.

“I’m now seeking and intend to get full restitution for the cost to the city for that coverage, $43,984.32,” Picozzi said.

12 News has reached out to Merolla for comment and is awaiting a response.