East Greenwich officer accused of ‘sexting,’ DUI back on duty

Target 12

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) —  An East Greenwich police officer who was suspended after he was accused of sexting a woman only hours after arresting her for drunken driving is back on duty.

Scott W. Cole, 30, also has a DUI on his record. He was arrested by West Warwick Police last April for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer.

In that case, Cole is serving an alternative sentence from the R.I. Veterans Treatment Court.

The court moves veterans off other dockets and into the specialized court that requires random drug and alcohol screenings for up to a year, with the cases potentially dismissed at the end of the process.

Cole was suspended with pay from the police department last summer after a 27-year-old woman filed a complaint claiming he began flirting with her within hours of arresting her for DUI.

Documents obtained by Target 12 indicated the flirting devolved into lewd pictures from Cole and the woman’s attorney, Michael Egan, alleged his text messages included a solicitation for oral sex.

East Greenwich Police Chief Stephen Brown confirmed Cole is back on duty but referred questions to the town’s attorney, Michael Ursillo.

Ursillo has not responded to a request for comment.

As the details unfolded, Brown confirmed the town was seeking termination through the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR).

According to court records, the Cole vs. East Greenwich case is still active.

Egan said he believed East Greenwich wanted him to cross-examine Cole in the DUI case to potentially help the town in the LEOBOR case.

But the woman’s DUI ended with a plea agreement, and Cole never had to take the stand.

Among the text messages purportedly sent by Cole: a legal opinion.

DUIs are not as bad as they used to be, one of the texts said. You can get a hardship license now for work.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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