The Providence Journal’s Jacqueline Tempera reported, the other day, on another way in which state employees of Rhode Island can potentially steal from taxpayers:
The managing director of the theater at Rhode Island College has been arrested after he allegedly stole more than $60,000 from the college over three years, state police said Friday.
An investigation by the state police’s Financial Crimes Unit determined that James L. Taylor, 46, of Johnston, had been requesting checks from the accounting department “under false pretenses” and depositing them into his personal bank account.
Hot on the heals of the reported conspiracy to defraud the unemployment insurance office, this latest arrest isn’t making state employees look so hot. Mix in the recent “quiet time” shifts in the Tiverton police department, and the entire Rhode Island public sector comes into question.
I do have to say I feel a bit for these workaday employees. I mean, the really connected folks just get bonds, tax credits, and other means of handing out taxpayer dollars in sums way above what ordinary folks can steal, and it’s all completely legal. When it isn’t legal, they get friendly officials in the attorney general’s office and even the state police to slow-roll and cover up.
Of course, I should note that Tiverton’s last employee caught up in a scandal of stealing from local taxpayers got away with a graceful retirement — and even the accrued sick-time he didn’t use because, it appears, he was just doing his side work on the clock. Elected officials don’t want the expensive and embarrassing lawsuits, so it’s not like the workaday employees always get their comeuppance.