Central Falls receivership now up to R.I. Supreme Court

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The future of the Central Falls receivership is now in the hands of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. The court heard arguments Tuesday on the constitutionality of the law that empowered the state to appoint a receiver to financially distressed communities.

Michael Kelly, an attorney for Central Falls mayor Charles Moreau told the high court that the state law setting up municipal receivers is unconstitutional because it puts one person in charge of the executive and legislative branches of government in violation of the city charter.

"Both of those branches have been merged into one entity which we believe is a violation of the home rule charter - the form of government of Central Falls," says Kelly.

But Ted Orson, an attorney for the state, countered that the law not unconstitutional because the receiver is only temporary. "We are not changing the form of central Falls government here," he said. "This is a temporary matter where the state absolutely had to step in."

The mayor of Central Falls is challenging the receivership because it has stripped him of power.

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