PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence Retirement Board on Friday approved pensions for more than a dozen people, including a well-known judge, a controversial police officer and a recent congressional candidate.
The panel also voted to reconsider an existing pension paid out to a former police officer who was fired in 2013 after his superiors said he admitted to having sex with a witness while on the job.
The city board, which is responsible for deciding whether former employees are eligible to receive their pensions, routinely considers the names of people who served the city in different positions.
On Friday, those names included former municipal court judge Frank Caprio, who was approved for two pensions for his time on the bench and his time as a city councilor.
Caprio, 86, was the focus of the highly popular TV show “Caught in Providence,” until he announced his retirement in January after nearly 40 years on the bench.
The retirement board also accepted a full pension for former Police Captain Stephen Gencarella, who served on the force for more than 25 years before. The captain came under fire in 2022 after he was caught on camera slamming a handcuffed suspect’s head into the pavement during an arrest near India Point Park.
Gencarella filed for retirement one day after he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor simple assault charge. He was sentenced to one year of probation. With more than 25 years on the force, Gencarella exceeded the two decades required to collect a full pension from the city.
From the political world, the board granted a partial pension for state Sen. Ana Quezada, who worked in the capital city as a code enforcement inspector. Quezada became better known publicly in recent months during her failed attempt to replace former Congressman David Cicilline.
Quezada placed seventh place a crowded Democratic primary election earlier this month.
In addition to the pension approvals, the board also voted to take another look at whether to revoke or replace the pension of former police officer Khatchig Kazandjian.
In 2012, the 15-year veteran of the force was accused of having sex on the job with a woman involved in a domestic violence dispute. According to a Providence Journal report, Kazandjian responded to the call, took a woman involved in the dispute home to collect her belongings, and ended up having sex with her.
Kazandjian was fired a year later. His superiors also called for city officials to strip his pension, but it was granted instead.
Col. Oscar Perez is trying again, calling on the board to consider revoking or reducing Kazandjian’s benefits. In a letter to the board, Perez argued the panel has the authority to strip his pension if “a majority of the board determines by the preponderance of the evidence that an employee has engaged in ‘dishonorable service.'”
“In this instance, Officer Khatchig Kazandjian’s dishonorable service is clear,” Perez wrote. “Kazandjian acknowledged that he had sex with the woman on May 8, 2012, when he took her back to an apartment following a violent fight with her boyfriend.”