RIPTA chief Avedisian appears in court on a 'leaving the scene' charge

Scott Avedisian (at left) leaves District Court in Warwick accompanied by his attorney John Harwood April 3, 2024 after the RIPTA CEO entered a not guilty plea to leaving the scene of a March 27 accident. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

A week after a fender-bender crash in a McDonald’s drive-through, RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian pleaded “not guilty” through his attorney in court Wednesday to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident, a misdemeanor.

A former Warwick mayor, Avedisian was charged by Warwick police following the March 27 incident at the fast food restaurant on Post Road.

He entered and left District Court without offering any comment to a throng of reporters. His attorney, John Harwood said he wanted to review the evidence before making any comment.

Avedisian was released on personal recognizance bail for an April 25 court appearance. A police prosecutor asked that he be directed to appear for booking at the Warwick Police headquarters.

Avedisian was not required to appear in the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal, where he was issued a citation for “Duty to Give Information and Render Aid, and to Report an Accident To Police”, also a misdemeanor.

Avedisian’s status at the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority has not changed. He has served as CEO of the bus agency since 2018. Last year, his contract was extended for another two years, at a reported salary of $181,795.