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Terminated firefighter enters plea in stolen data case

Target 12

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — A terminated veteran East Greenwich firefighter pleaded no contest in a case involving missing data used to repair and maintain the emergency alarm system that protects town-owned buildings and commercial property, the Target 12 Investigators have learned. 

Robert Warner, 43, of Warwick, entered the plea in Kent County Court on Tuesday to an amended misdemeanor charge, according to Attorney General Public Information Officer Kristy dosReis.

DosReis said Warner returned the missing data and reimbursed $1,160 the town “spent trying to recover the files.”

The 16-year veteran had pleaded not guilty last November to two counts of computer trespass greater than $500 following an investigation by East Greenwich police.

According to the incident report, the computer and printed information about the fire alarm circuits, including what was referred to as “the bible” for the system, had been deleted.

Only “a limited number of the deleted files could be restored,” the report said.

Warner was the fire department’s communication director, putting him in charge of maintaining the data, which investigators said disappeared last June on the day Warner resigned the department post.

Warner did not give up his firefighter position but last July the town council voted unanimously to terminate him for several administrative counts, including six for insubordination.

Warner did not comment Tuesday after entering the no-contest plea, which carries the same legal weight as a guilty plea.

His attorney Norman Landroche, Jr. was brief as he walked away with Warner outside court on Tuesday.

“The case is resolved,” Landroche said.

Associate Justice Maureen Keough filed the misdemeanor for one year, meaning the charge will be off Warner’s record if he keeps the peace.

Former Fire Chief Kevin Robinson told Target 12 the data was often used to repair the fire alarm system that he said cut response times by connecting schools and other public buildings directly to the department.

After the incident, Robinson said after the data went missing, the department needed the information several times to repair the system but instead had to call in and pay an alarm company for the repairs.

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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