Fire chief accused of violating record retention laws warwick beacon jokes gas prices


Further, according to Title 38 of the Rhode Island General Laws regarding public records, “No public official may mutilate, destroy, sell, loan, or otherwise dispose of any public record without the consent of the public records administration program of the secretary of state.” A violation of this law would incur a $20 to $500 penalty per document disposed of. Furthermore, these records must be kept in a specific type of way and be readily accessible by the public upon request.

Cote filed an Access to Public Records Act electricity projects for grade 7 request (APRA) in May and December of 2016 to get any documents pertaining to changes of shift within the Warwick Fire Department. Cote was told on multiple occasions that such records didn’t exist, although McLaughlin insists there was a misunderstanding pertaining to whether Cote was requesting a completed Form 109 document or a blank one.

However Cote said that not all of the information is transferred over to the accountability sheet, merely the name of the firefighter and whether or not a change of shift has occurred. The reason for those changes of shift is not reflected, which Cote asserts leaves a window open for deception. Additionally, Cote maintains that regardless of whether or not the information is transferred to a different system, the Form 109 documents must be retained anyways.

Cote played a recording from the most gas vs electric water heater savings recent budget hearings for FY18 where McLaughlin said that: “When the chief enters them into the computer, and after their shift is worked, we discard of that. There’s no reason to keep [the completed Form 109 documents]. They’re in the computer. We keep a hard copy with the filled out names prior to the time of the change of shift. Once that change of shift happens, it’s entered into the computer that that firefighter did in fact show up, there’s no need to keep the signed paperwork.”

“I’m perplexed that the chief sat next to the mayor on one side and the city solicitor on the other side, he openly admitted to violating state law,” Cote said to the Council. “And is it possible that 3 gases in the air one of these municipal leaders don’t know what the laws are when it comes to record retention? I’m a small businessman and I know them. I don’t understand how that could be possible.”

“Whether that specific form that he’s denoting is applicable to the records retention schedule of Rhode Island, that’s something that the 3 gases that cause global warming city solicitors are reviewing right now,” he said. “We do have our manpower accountability sheets that we do retain – we’re required by law to retain them for one year – and we do retain beyond one year. Those are the sheets where if somebody did work a change of shift, it’s right on there. So it’s full disclosure.”

In response to allegations from Cote that fire department personnel had used the change of shift system to subvert using vacation or sick time in order to go work other jobs or even attend a softball tournament in Maine, McLaughlin said that he had seen no evidence of such activity, and if anybody has proof of such accusations to please bring it forward.

(1) Agency or public body shall mean any executive, legislative, judicial, regulatory, administrative body of the state, or any political subdivision thereof; including, but not limited to, any department, division, agency, commission, board, office, bureau, authority, any school, fire, or water district, or other agency or quasi-public agency of Rhode Island state or local government which exercises governmental functions, or any other public or private agency, person, partnership, corporation, or business entity acting on behalf of any public agency.

When not in use, the records and documents shall be kept in the fireproof rooms, vaults, or safes provided for them. Whoever k electric jobs 2015 unlawfully keeps in his or her possession any public record, or unlawfully removes the record from the room in which it is usually kept, or alters, defaces, mutilates, or destroys any public record, or violates any provision of this section, shall, for each offense, be punished by a fine of not physics c electricity and magnetism less than twenty dollars ($20.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).

You accuse Cote of attacking the messenger when you are doing the exact same thing! Mr. Cote is a private citizen that has spent his own time and money researching the issue. There is a reason why citizens are allowed to see public records and when a department or the head of the department states they destroyed the records, there is only one question to ask: WHY?

Warwickcitizen: How can it be considered frivolous when the contents of the destroyed paperwork are public record? Just because you feel it isn’t important to keep doesn’t mean the law should be broken. I have retention laws I must abide by and be in compliance with and I work as a private employee. How much more should a taxpayer funded department abide by the law?

It isn’t malcontent or unsubstantiated accusations. The Chief is on record stating the documents were destroyed prior to the 4 year period. These destroyed records could have proven electricity and magnetism worksheets high school or disproved the lingering questions MANY have regarding the non-reconciled OT and cost overages the Department has encountered year after year after year. I think we are entitled to answers and those answers do not seem to be coming from the Mayor, the Finance Director or the Chief. A concerned citizen is asking these questions and it seems to have hit a few hot buttons along the way. Why?