Former cop admits to using $71K in union funds for personal expenses

Retired Newport Police Officer and former FOP President Christopher Hayes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The former head of the Newport police union admitted in court Monday to using more than $71,000 in union funds to cover personal expenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Rhode Island announced.

As part of a plea deal, Christopher Hayes pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Hayes, 49, is a retired Newport police sergeant and the former president of Fraternal Order of Police, Newport Lodge No. 8. Federal and state investigators said he misused approximately $71,523 in FOP funds between Aug. 2009 and Dec. 2014.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Hayes admitted to the court he used an FOP debit card to pay for personal expenses, wrote checks payable to himself from the FOP bank account, withdrew cash from the FOP bank account for personal use, and made online payments to his personal credit card from the FOP bank account.

Hayes is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21.

Current Newport FOP President Jason Brown emphasized the case did not involve city or taxpayer funds, and said the crime is not “reflective of the Newport Police Department or the 25 honorable years that Sgt. Hayes served in his capacity as a police officer.”