Justina Cardosa Police Chief – Justina Cardosa sues the Province Poilce Chief John Whiting for $250,000 in damages and for allegedly stealing $714 from her purse after a car chase.
The suit is now going to federal court alleging he violated her constitutional rights.
Cardoso, a 21-year-old former stripper, filed suit on Dec. 22 claiming the Chief of Police violated the rights protecting her from illegal searches and granting her due process. The 21-year-old, who lives in Pawtucket and performed at the Satin Doll strip club in Providence, is seeking $250,000 in damages.
Whiting, of North Attleborough, Mass., has been suspended without pay from his job as North Providence police chief since his September arrest. He pleaded not guilty earlier this month to charges he stole the money from Cardoso’s Coach pocketbook and then tried to cover it up. His next court date is Feb. 16.
Whiting was driving to work in an unmarked police vehicle on Aug. 28 when he activated his police lights and began chasing Cardoso’s Ford Explorer in Pawtucket, police say. Whiting, 57, told police someone inside the Explorer threw an object at his vehicle as he was trying to pass it. The SUV, in which Cardoso was a passenger, had slowed down to try to get around a fallen tree, police said.
The chase ended when the SUV crashed into a parked car and the people inside fled.
Whiting later admitted to a Pawtucket officer that he stole money from a pocketbook “loaded with cash” that he found inside the SUV, investigators wrote in an affidavit. The Pawtucket officer said Whiting gave him the money and told him to spend it in Las Vegas and not discuss it.
Cardoso’s lawsuit claims Whiting illegally went through her SUV and took her money, which police say she earned at the Satin Doll and from a man who paid her for “her company.” She also claims Whiting violated her privacy.
Her civil attorney declined to comment on Tuesday. Messages also were left Tuesday for Whiting and his criminal defense attorney.
After the car chase, Cardoso was arrested on a warrant for an unrelated criminal matter. She pleaded no contest last month to three charges in an extortion and blackmail case and to one count of marijuana possession.