Target 12: Board orders more tests for ‘Feel the Burn’ retiree

By Tim White

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.”

3 thoughts on “Target 12: Board orders more tests for ‘Feel the Burn’ retiree

  1. Maybe this time around they can get a doctor who has not been bought off by the public employee unions. I said it before and I’ll say it again. I went to the same gym as this guy for years after he was supposedly “disabled”, and it’s a total crock and a blatant ripoff of honest taxpayers. How this guy can say he’s disabled with a straight face is beyond me.

  2. This “man” that is ripping off the taxpayers obviously has no shame. He is an evil thief! Carma’s a B*TCH and he’ll have his day….

  3. Cosmo, I agree with most of what you say, But no one “bought off” any doctor. That exam involved the doctor asking Sauro if it still hurt, and how bad. The doctor really can’t tell if he’s still hurt or faking, so he has to declare him disabled because Sauro will turn around and fake another injury, and the doctor will be liable legally. So you can’t fault the doctor, he’s just following guidelines. That is why these new test were ordered, because they will be harder to fake. And if Sauro really is disabled, why is he fighting to avoid these tests? If it were me, I’d want them, to prove my case. Hmm…

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