WARWICK, RI — A Marcum LLC report shows the city paid up to $386,000 more in sick time than it should have, and Mayor Frank Picozzi is suing Local 2748, International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO and retirees to get it back.
With authorization from the Warwick City Council, Picozzi announced today he has filed suit in the Kent County Superior Court on behalf of the City of Warwick asking the court to declare the 2013 MOA null and void and that any payments made pursuant to the MOA were made in error and were not made pursuant to a past practice. Additionally, the city is asking the court to order union members and the retirees to make restitution for the erroneous overpayments made in reliance on the invalid 2013 MOA.
“I want to make it clear that in no way was this the fault of our firefighters; they are hardworking, dedicated people. This is all the result of proper procedure not being followed,” Picozzi said in a statement announcing the suit.
The lawsuit is premised on an August 21st, 2021, Marcum, LLP report to the city indicating that the city had made approximately $385,000 in erroneous overpayments to city fire department employees. The Marcum report states that the erroneous overpayments were based upon an April 23, 2013, Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into between the union and the then-Chief allowing accrual of sick time beyond the amount authorized by the then-in-effect Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Under law, the Collective Bargaining Agreement cannot be altered or amended without the signature of the Mayor and approval from the city council. That process was not followed.
“I want to make it clear that in no way was this the fault of our firefighters; they are hardworking, dedicated people. This is all the result of proper procedure not being followed,” said Picozzi.
Additional reading on the sick time overpayments:
This is a test