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Ex-Fire Chief Accused of Fraud

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NBC Bay Area

Former Coventry, Rhode Island, Fire Chief Paul Labbadia is free on $25,000 personal recognizance after pleading not guilty to indictments returned by a Providence County grand jury.

Labbadia appeared in court Wednesday after his arrest at home by the state police financial crimes unit.

He's charged with two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses and one count of filing a false document.

An interim grand jury report alleges that Labbadia fraudulently obtained $155,000 in medical payments and $23,000 in cost of living from the city of North Providence, and $45,000 in state pension benefits.

Labbadia was fired in February in response to a WPRI-TV investigation. The chief was accused of drinking alcohol and playing golf during the work day and using his fire district vehicle for recreation.

He denied any wrongdoing.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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