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City Manager Takes on Legal Work In Pawtucket

Moonlighting may have been popularized by Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepard, but it seems City Manager Timothy Chapman has decided to have a go at it.

It first surfaced on social media, specifically pages opposed to the new Garbage Transfer Station proposed in Pawtucket, that the Grebien administration had brought in attorney Tim Chapman to assist with the project.

The project itself has been very controversial in Pawtucket, especially in the Fairlawn neighborhood that would host it. The Pawtucket City Council has been actively working against Mayor Grebien's plans utilizing their own attorney.

In East Providence, however, Mr. Chapman taking on this project is not without its own implications. When Richard Kirby was hired as City Manager he was required to wind down his private law practice, yet Mr. Chapman maintains his practice on Willett Avenue.

Section 13-8 of the East Providence City Charter reads:

"All persons holding office or employment in city government, other than an elective office, shall be required to engage in the actual work of their offices or employment during regular business hours to the extent that their services may be necessary for the full and complete discharge of their duties"

This raises the question of what is the City Manager's regular business hours? The City Manager is usually on call 24 hours a day. Does this new job in Pawtucket require Mr. Chapman to perform functions during the work day, including meetings with the Grebien administration and others? We reached out to Mayor Grebien's office and according to Dylan Zelazo, Deputy Director of Administration "he has been engaged from time to time by our Solicitor’s office for many years to take on certain legal work."

We reached out to both Mr. Chapman and to the members of the City Council, as of publication only Councilwoman Sousa and Councilman Faria responded. Ms. Sousa stated " may be an ethics issue and conflict with his current role" and Mr. Faria stated by phone "At this time I cannot comment because I do not have enough information relevant to your inquiry."

Mr. Chapman makes an annual salary of $149,625 plus benefits for his position as East Providence City Manager, according to the Rhode Island Department of Revenue 2017 survey of municipal salaries, it is uncertain at this time how much he is being paid by the City of Pawtucket.