July 19, 2016
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence Police Officer Michael McCarty pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement in connection with his 2014 arrest for taking items and cash from the Public Safety Complex evidence locker.
According to the Rhode Island Attorney General's office, McCarthy, 63, of Warwick, was sentenced to seven years by Judge Robert Krause, which will be broken down into one year of home confinement, and six years suspended with probation. Public Information Officer Amy Kempe said McCarthy was ordered to pay $9,205 in restitution.
Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said McCarthy agreed to forfeit his right to his pension and was terminated immediately after the guilty plea. McCarthy had been suspended without pay.
While McCarthy will not receive his pension, his wife can petition to receive partial payment as an innocent spouse.
In court on Tuesday, McCarthy admitted taking $9,000 and a firearm. He was charged Oct. 1, 2014 with one count of fraudulent conversion.
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said McCarthy violated the trust of the people he served.
"By all accounts, McCarthy served the Providence Police Department for more than half his life without incident," Kilmartin said. "But the moment he stole, he violated the trust of the public to uphold the law and violated the trust of his brothers and sisters of the Department."
A search warrant affidavit filed in 2015 revealed just under $12,000 in cash and two diamond rings were unaccounted for from the evidence locker. McCarthy was one of two officers who had keys to the enclosure.
The affidavit also revealed police conducted an audit of the items in the locker on Sept. 29, 2014, three days before McCarthy was arrested.
The affidavit referred to a diamond ring and a Vera Bradley bag that were stolen from J.C. Penney, and stated that on June 30, 2014, "McCarthy changed the status of these items as released to owner."
But when police contacted a woman from J.C. Penney loss prevention, she indicated no one from the department store chain had received the merchandise from police.
In addition to the 1 1/2 carat ring and designer bag, a second diamond ring and four quantities of currency that totaled $11,765 were also missing according to the affidavit. One of the piles of cash totaled $7,915 and had been held in a brown paper bag. The audit determined "the monies were missing, but the brown paper bag was still in safe."
The affidavit stated McCarthy was interviewed on Oct. 1 by two officers from the department's internal affairs division.
"During the interview, McCarthy was confronted with the discrepancies," the document said. "He also stated that some of the items were missing, some he had taken care of and some he had "took"."