Contact: Major Todd Catlow, Detective Commander Telephone: (401) 444-1005
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, and Peter F. Kilmartin, Attorney General for the State of Rhode Island, announce that the Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office have concluded their investigation into the Central Coventry Fire District. The investigation determined that there was no basis for the initiation of any criminal charges.
The investigation by the State Police Financial Crimes Unit originated in January 2013 from a letter of request sent by the Town of Coventry's General Assembly delegation to Attorney General Kilmartin. The letter of complaint was forwarded to the Financial Crimes Unit. The investigation focused on any possible criminal actions that may have led to the receivership and possible bankruptcy of the Central Coventry Fire District. The investigation included the review of documents received from the Court Appointed Special Master, the Central Coventry Fire District, the Town of Coventry Tax Assessor's Office and the Central Coventry Fire District Tax Collector, and interviews of the parties involved.
The investigation showed that the Central Coventry Fire District suffered from a significant error in a commercial fire tax assessment that was compounded over a two-year period. This error created a general fund deficiency of $1.6 million in their operating budget over the two-year period. The investigation also determined that there was no basis for the initiation of any criminal charges in regard to Central Coventry Fire District expenditures that were improperly reimbursed by grant funds.