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Posted December 19, 2013 EST

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Providence Suspends Ex-firefighter's Disability Pension
United States (Rhode Island) - The city Retirement Board Wednesday suspended the pension of a firefighter supposedly disabled with a shoulder injury who was caught by a TV news camera pumping iron in a fitness center. John Sauro, a former firefighter and emergency medical technician, has been receiving a tax-free monthly pension of $3,902. But city officials say that he won't submit to a legally required independent medical examination to confirm that he remains disabled.

Joseph Voccola, Sauro's lawyer, has told the city that his client has been bedridden with "crippling anxiety" and is unable to go to the exam. The city set up an exam by a shoulder specialist in Waltham, Mass., but Voccola said his client is under doctor's orders not to go to an out-of-state exam.

Senior Assistant City Solicitor Kenneth B. Chiavarini advised the Retirement Board that Sauro for all intents and purposes is refusing to participate in the exam and that the board is duty-bound to discontinue the pension until Sauro makes himself available.

Sauro's case was widely publicized in 2011 when a TV news expose called into question the validity of his disability pension. Sauro was cleared in a criminal investigation but the city has continued to spar with him, mostly behind the scenes, regarding whether he remains disabled and entitled to a disability pension.

Written by Providence Journal

Courtesy of NewsEdge
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