Judge Stays Decision To Reinstate Airport Police Chief

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has placed a hold on a decision to reinstate a deputy police chief at T.F. Green International Airport as the airport has appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court.

Judge Alice Gibney found that the airport is likely to succeed on appeal and agreed to stay the May ruling to reinstate former Deputy Police Chief Helen Ricci with back pay and benefits, the Providence Journal reported Wednesday.

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation, which maintains the state’s airports, argued in the appeal that it would be irreparably harmed because it is unlikely to recoup payments made to Ricci. In addition, the company maintains that Ricci's performance raises public safety concerns.

Ricci countered that in the time it would take for the appeal to be settled she will suffer damages, such as a lump-sum mortgage payment on her home that will be due when the federal moratorium is lifted.

She claimed that she has only been able to secure temporary employment and had to liquidate her retirement savings to keep up with expenses.

“This court is aware that an appeal will prolong Plaintiff’s difficult circumstances, but this is outweighed by defendants’ likelihood of success on the merits of their appeal and by the irreparable harm they could suffer prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the appeal,” Gibney wrote in response to Ricci.