PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A former Rhode Island fire chief has pleaded no contest to charges he filed false documents to obtain retiree benefits.

WPRI-TV reports 52-year-old Paul Labbadia, of North Providence, entered the pleas Thursday to two felony counts of obtaining money under false pretenses and one misdemeanor count of filing a false document. Sentencing is set for March 16.

Labbadia was fired from the Coventry Fire District in 2014 after authorities said he was recorded on video using a department vehicle to play golf and drink during the day before returning to work.

Prosecutors say he fraudulently obtained $178,000 in retiree benefits and cost-of-living payments from the city, as well as $45,000 in pension money from the state.

Labbadia said Tuesday that he is a “political pawn in a chess game.”


Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com

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