I-Team: Accused officer sold cars to police department - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

I-Team: Accused officer sold cars to police department

Posted: Updated:
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -

During 30 years on the job, Pawtucket police officer Ken Provost spent a lot of time behind the wheel of a patrol car.

But the NBC 10 I-Team learned he also bought and sold police vehicles for the city without giving other businesses a chance to bid.

"Generally there's sort of a firewall there. You're either an employee or you're a vendor, but not both," said John Marion of Common Cause, a Rhode Island group that advocates for open government. "It certainly seems to have the appearance of something funny, if not an actual financial conflict."

City leaders say the unusual unwritten agreement was in place for at least 10 years.

But on Thursday, Provost was charged with stealing about 200 gallons from city pumps, using both his personal car and a gas can.

Records obtained by the I-Team reveal Provost bought six cars for the police department in the past three years alone -- more than $100,000 worth of vehicles, including undercover cars and cars driven by his superiors.

Pawtucket Public Safety Commissioner Antonio Pires said Provost saved the city money on dealer fees, and never made a profit when he bought the cars.

Pires says the city felt more comfortable working with Provost because the vehicles were undercover cars.

The I-Team asked Pires if that was an ethical arrangement.

"It's certainly worth a second look at it," Pires said.

Provost was put on paid administrative leave. His business arrangement with Pawtucket is over, and city leaders say they'll re-evaluated how they buy undercover cars going forward.

Provost is scheduled to appear in court in two weeks.

  • NBC 10 I-Team

  • Fraud and Waste Hot Line

    Trust the NBC 10 I-Team to uncover waste and fraud in Southern New England.

    Have a story the NBC 10 I-Team needs to know about?

    Call the I-Team Fraud and Waste Hotline at 401-455-9123 or e-mail iteam@wjar.com.

    About the I-Team

    NBC 10's I-Team was the first investigative unit in Rhode Island.

    Formed in 1979 by I-Team reporters Jim Taricani and Gary Scurka, the I-Team has produced award-winning investigations into organized crime, public corruption and social issues ranging from child abuse to battered women.

  • The I-TeamMore>>

  • Katie Davis

    Katie Davis

    Katie Davis is an I-Team reporter at NBC 10. She joined the team in January 2010 and is excited to live and work in New England.
    Katie Davis is an I-Team reporter at NBC 10. She joined the team in January 2010 and is excited to live and work in New England.
  • Parker Gavigan

    Parker Gavigan

    Parker Gavigan is an Associated Press award-winning journalist, and was named to the NBC 10 I-Team in January 2013. Parker digs deeper to get the answers that matter to you.
    Parker Gavigan is an Associated Press award-winning journalist, and was named to the NBC 10 I-Team in January 2013. Parker digs deeper to get the answers that matter to you.
Powered by WorldNow

23 Kenney Drive
Cranston, R.I., 02920

Telephone: 401.455.9100
Fax: 401.455.9140
Email: news@wjar.com

Can't find something?

NBC 10 Outerwear Provided by:

NBC 10 Media Relations
Provided by:

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.