July 20, 2009

A Crime Against Society

Justin Katz

Before we let his subject drift into the vague pastures of public memory, let's join Mark Patinkin in shaking our heads at the tale of the neighbor-killer who retired in his twenties after six months of public service:

You no doubt saw that Nicholas Gianquitti, 41, now serving 40 years for murdering Cranston fire lieutenant James Pagano, will keep receiving his $3,841.50 monthly pension. The check will arrive at his home, for his family's use. The reason? His crime wasn't related to his police conduct.

That may seem astonishing, but to me it's more astonishing that he got such a lifelong pension in the first place.

Here is a man who began as a patrolman in July 1991, and only six months later, fractured his left kneecap when he fell chasing two suspects in a parking lot. For that, he got a lifelong pension at two-thirds his salary — tax-free because it is for disability.

It is not the only such pension, and it makes me wonder: What planet is the Retirement Board living on?

In a healthy society, this story would have representatives and bureaucrats glancing out the window all day out of fear that the masses might be coming to remove them from bodily office. Instead, we can only wonder who won the office-lounge dispute over whether Gianquitti was an inevitable outlier in an otherwise honorable system or he represents everything that's great about promoting the government as an employer.

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As much as I'm glad he's in prison, I have a hard time punishing Gianquitti's family just because their husband and father turned out to be a ticking time bomb of anger and bitterness.

In terms of his receiving the pension at all, I'd imagine that there's been a lot bigger pensions given out under far more shady conditions- it isn't like he claimed a disability from moving office furniture after 30 years or something. I suppose we should be grateful that his injury happened at the beginning of his career- 2/3 of a rookie patrolman's salary in 1991 couldn't have been much.

Posted by: EMT at July 20, 2009 6:14 PM

I got injured numerous times on my job in the INS:broke my right hand in three places fighting with a drug dealer,got thrown down a flight of concrete stairs,fell though a ceiling,got hit in the head with a telephone,got hit from behind with a club,got kicked in the face while driving a prisoner in,and almost lost my right eye from being kicked in the face with a workboot by a guy hiding under machinery.That's not counting getting punched and wrestling with nitwits routinely.

I never asked for 2 cents in disability
and I retired on time in,and have a taxable pension.
Federal disability isn't the free ride Gianquitti got.You're better off sticking with the rgular program.
Sounds to me like he was a crybaby.
There is a Providence cop on the force right now who was partially blinded after being shot in the eye years ago.Ask him about disability-he never considered it.
I do get a VA disability and gladly accept-I got cancer,diabetes,and resultant heart disease from Agent Orange.My health was ruined.I also take their free health care,which is OUTSTANDING.No shame about it whatsoever.
I do not,however,begrudge his family what they get.They got it legally and none of them committed murder.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 20, 2009 6:59 PM

Oh,yeah,a septic infection in my arm from being bitten.I don't think he ever bit anyone else.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 20, 2009 7:01 PM

Just look at the comments...this is why our society is where it is. We always justify the WRONG behavior and most times even reward it.

I don't care if you see it as "punishing" the family. Actions have consequences and shooting someone might equal the loss of the pension. I'm not the pension board but people have got to be rewarded for the correct behavior and not rewarded when they F up. Enough with the endless handouts.


Posted by: x man at July 20, 2009 9:09 PM

$3841.00 x 12=$46,092 +15,000 Health Care 61,092 x 17years $1,038,564 so far,
if he collects for 40 years $2,443,680
plus the suite at the ACI say another
$1,000,000(he is there for life)
Grand Total $3,443,680

Makes Gay Marriage seem less important

Posted by: Bill Wellington at July 20, 2009 9:51 PM

The liberal though process never ceases to amaze me. Liberalism almost always overlooks the true victims. James Pagano's wife and children will suffer the loss of their husband and father for a lot longer than 40 years. The taxpayers will pay dearly for Gianquitti's parasitic excuse for a life.

The killer's wife can get a job, adjust her lifestyle and move on. Not her fault, but certainly not ours either.

Posted by: George at July 20, 2009 10:24 PM

Maybe a provision to revoke a pension if the pensioner gets sent to prison should be in place,but absent that,how do you go back and undo the process?
I know VA disability pensions are not paid while a person is incarcerated.
The Pagano family has the option to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against Gianquitti and would almost certainly win under the cricumstances.The Goldmans won even though OJ was acquitted,after all.Then they could collect his pension to satisfy the judgement depending on the amount.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 20, 2009 11:26 PM

Watch who you're calling "liberal," George. Aside from being ridiculous, I take it as a personal insult.

I suppose you'll be offering Mrs. Gianquitti a job?

It's conservatives like you that give the rest of us a bad name.

Posted by: EMT at July 21, 2009 12:08 AM

EMT-I think I might've gotten tagged as a liberal too.Oh,well.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 21, 2009 3:00 AM

EMT, Mrs. Gianquitti is not my responsibility. Now that her husband has squandered his life; she has a responsibility to take care of herself and her family. That is not the responsibilty of the taxpayers.

Next you'll argue that if he were a full time policeman on active duty convicted of murder, his wife should be rewarded with a pension in that case too?

Sorry if I hurt your feelings, but you sound like a liberal when you manufacture victims at a cost to everyone else.

Posted by: George at July 22, 2009 2:47 PM

Law enforcement officers who are convicted of felonies and dismissed or even fired for cause lose their pensions,period.
This isn't even a possibility George.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 22, 2009 3:23 PM

Facts? What were you thinking, Joe??

Posted by: EMT at July 22, 2009 8:23 PM

Let's not lose sight of the culprit in this matter.

This would not have been a problem if Providence's elected officials at the time had done their job and shown even a modicum of prudence in defining the circumstances and qualifications for disability pensions.

Posted by: Monique at July 23, 2009 6:55 AM

"Law enforcement officers who are convicted of felonies and dismissed or even fired for cause lose their pensions,period."

My point! For good reason, the wife and kids aren't considered in those cases. So, why should taxpayers have to pick up the responsibility when the guy commits freakin' murder.

If the law doesn't provide for a revocation for conviction of a serious crime, it should!

I feel bad for Mrs. Gianquitti, but I shouldn't have to pay for her free ride just because her husband is a once convicted murderer and twice proven loser.

Furthermore, pensions should die with the employee/retiree. Why should I pay the pension to someone who was never in civil or federal service?

Posted by: George at July 23, 2009 8:48 PM

George-Let me explain something here.I took a 52% Federal pension instead of the 62% I was entitled to take.If I predecease my wife( VERY LIKELY),she gets more income than if I took the whole thing.However,should I become a widower,I would start receiving 62%.
My mom was a teacher in adult education for 44 years in NYC,and she received NO PENSION.The people in her job weren't allowed in the pension system.My dad got a pension from NY State where he worked for many years after about 20 odd years in factory work.It was the same deal.He alwys got less than he could have and good thing,because he died at 78 and my mom is still going at 96.BTW it's not the kind of money you see in RI-about $800 a month.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 25, 2009 6:10 PM
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