TITLE 36
Public Officers and Employees

CHAPTER 36-10.1
Rhode Island Public Employee Pension Revocation and Reduction Act

SECTION 36-10.1-3


§ 36-10.1-3 Revocation and reduction of benefits.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any retirement or other benefit or payment of any kind to which a public official or public employee is otherwise entitled under this chapter, under title 16, under title 45, under title 8, under chapter 30 of title 28, under chapter 43 of title 31, or under chapter 28 of title 42 shall be revoked or reduced, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or § 11-41-31 if, after January 1, 1993, the public official or public employee is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to any crime related to his or her public office or public employment. Any such conviction or plea shall be deemed to be a breach of the public officer's or public employee's contract with his or her employer.

(b) Whenever any public official or public employee is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to any crime related to his or her public office or public employment, the retirement board, if no finding is made by the judge in the criminal action pursuant to § 11-41-31, shall:

(1) Initiate a civil action in the superior court for the revocation or reduction of any retirement or other benefit or payment to which the public official or public employee is otherwise entitled under this title, under title 16, under title 45, under title 8, under chapter 30 of title 28, under chapter 43 of title 31, or under chapter 28 of title 42.

(2) The superior court shall order the public official or employee to appear and show cause as to why any retirement or other benefit or payment to which the public official or public employee is otherwise entitled under this title, under title 16, under title 45, under title 8, under chapter 30 of title 28, under chapter 43 of title 31, or under chapter 28 of title 42 should not be withheld pending adjudication of the civil action in the superior court.

(3) Legal standing is hereby conferred upon the retirement board to initiate and maintain a civil action, and jurisdiction over that civil action is hereby conferred upon the superior court.

(c)(1) In any civil action under this chapter for the revocation or reduction of retirement or other benefits or payments, the superior court shall determine:

(i) Whether the public employee has been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to any crime related to his or her public office or public employment and, if so;

(ii) Whether the retirement or other benefits or payments to which the public official or public employee is otherwise entitled should be revoked or diminished and, if so;

(iii) In what amount or by what proportion such revocation or reduction should be ordered.

(2) In rendering its decision hereunder, the superior court shall consider and address each of the following factors:

(i) The fact that the allowance of retirement or other benefits or payments for service under this title, under title 16, under title 45, under title 8, under chapter 30 of title 28, under chapter 43 of title 31, and under chapter 28 of title 42 presumes and requires that the service shall have been honorably rendered;

(ii) The severity of the crime related to public office or public employment of which the public official or public employee has been convicted or to which the public official or public employee has pled guilty or nolo contendere;

(iii) The amount of monetary loss suffered by the public official's or public employee's employer or by any other person as a result of the subject crime related to public office or public employment;

(iv) The degree of public trust reposed in the subject public official or public employee by virtue of his or her public office or public employment; and

(v) Any such other factors as, in the judgment of the superior court, justice may require.

(d) If the superior court determines that the retirement or other benefits or payments of a public official or public employee should be revoked or reduced under this chapter, it may, in its discretion and after taking into consideration the financial needs and resources of any innocent spouse or domestic partner, dependents and/or designated beneficiaries of the public official or public employee, order that some or all of the revoked or reduced benefits or payments be paid to any innocent spouse or domestic partner, dependent or beneficiary as justice may require.

(e) If the superior court determines that the retirement or other benefits or payments of a public official or public employee should not be revoked or reduced under this chapter, it shall order that the retirement or other benefits or payments be made to the public official or public employee as if the initiation of the civil action had not occurred.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1992, ch. 306, art. 1, § 8; P.L. 1995, ch. 212, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 292, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 510, § 13.)