PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence Retirement Board voted Wednesday to require retired firefighter John Sauro to undergo further medical testing to examine his eligibility for a tax-free accidental-disability pension.
Sauro’s case burst into the public eye in May after undercover Target 12 video showed him partaking in a vigorous weightlifting routine despite being officially declared disabled in 2000. Mayor Angel Taveras called the video “outrageous” and his administration is working on a broader crackdown on questionable pensions.
Sauro’s attorneys tried without success to convince the board not to require him to take more tests. Sauro himself was present at the meeting.
In July, a doctor told city officials he believed Sauro is still too hurt to work after giving him a medical examination. He takes home about $3,800 a month tax-free in pension payments. The city also pays $1,800 a month for his health insurance.
The Retirement Board ordered the additional tests shortly after rescinding the accidental disability pension they’d granted former Fire Chief George Farrell earlier this month.
Taveras and City Council President Michael Solomon issued a joint statement Wednesday saying they “believe that pension reform must occur this year – including reforms of the disability pension system at issue in [Farrell’s] case – and are working closely to address this challenge.”