Providence’s HR director under review after outside employment discovered

Providence’s HR director under review after outside employment discovered


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence’s personnel chief is under review after the city learned he’s also currently employed nearly 100 miles away in Massachusetts.


Last May, Mayor Brett Smiley’s office announced Paul Winspeare as the city’s chief human resources officer, saying that hiring Winspeare would help to make Providence the “best-run city in the nation.”

“Winspeare’s years of leadership will be instrumental as the city implements modernized professional development, performance and employee satisfaction strategies to ensure we continue to support and attract talented leaders from near and far to join our team,” Smiley said in a May 11 press release.

About six months later, Winspeare applied to be an interim personnel director for Georgetown, a small town north of Boston, and he was appointed to the position a few weeks later. His position there was first reported by the website GoLocalProv.

Georgetown Town Administrator Orlando Pacheco confirmed to Target 12 by phone on Tuesday afternoon that Winspeare is currently employed by the town, describing his position as a “remote, flex-job” that is “task-oriented” in nature.

When the town was looking to hire a part-time human resources and personnel director position last fall, the job posting indicated it was “a new position geared towards an existing or retired professional looking for additional hours.” Specifically, the individual was asked to “coordinate and implement activities of its existing personnel program completed personnel study.”

Pacheco confirmed Winspeare was hired to work 10 to 12 hours per week, at a rate of $75 per hour. He said Winspeare is not directly interacting with employees, and that he had personally only seen him in the building “four or five times” total since December.

Josh Estrella, a spokesperson for Smiley, told Target 12 on Tuesday that Winspeare was still employed in Providence, but that a “review of the matter” was currently underway.

“Outside employment is not prohibited and this role is a part-time, as-needed position that is limited to 10 hours a week,” Estrella said. “That said, no employee is allowed to conduct other business during their scheduled work time with the city of Providence.”

Estrella confirmed that Winspeare makes $132,567 annually in Providence, but declined to provide more information, saying it was a personnel matter.

During a Nov. 27 meeting of Georgetown’s Board of Selectmen, Winspeare said he lived in Suffield, Connecticut, but was looking to move “up this way” and buy a second home. He also disclosed he currently worked for the city of Providence, and said he also did consulting work and was an adjunct professor at Westfield State University.

He said he had the ability to commute and told the board that “the distance doesn’t actually concern me.”

Winspeare also told the board since the semester was ending, he would be able to fit responsibilities from the Georgetown job into his schedule.

“I like to keep my hands busy,” Winspeare said.

When asked if Winspeare was in compliance with Georgetown’s employment policies, Pacheco said Winspeare “has been doing everything he’s been asked to do.” He said Providence city officials had been in touch with him on Monday and Tuesday, asking about when Winspeare had been in Georgetown for business, and what kind of work he had been doing for them.

In November, the town implied that there was potential for the interim role to become a full-time HR role that served both the town and the schools.

That position has not been created or posted yet, according to Pacheco, who oversees human resources, project management, and finance.

Before taking the job in Providence, Winspeare served as chief HR officer in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Alexandra Leslie ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence and more for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.