bankruptcy

The Central Coventry Fire district’s union says it’s still willing to negotiate even though the district has filed for bankruptcy.  

The governor’s office announced Tuesday a chapter 9 bankruptcy after months of receivership.  Head of the firefighters’ union David Gorman says the bankruptcy will hurt the town of Coventry.  “I still maintain that the governor’s bankruptcy plan will jeopardize public safety even further than we’re at today.  We’re down just 31 firefighters from 52,” said Gorman.  He added that the firefighters have also downsized from five stations to two. 

The Rhode Island State Police and the Attorney General have concluded their investigation into beleaguered Central Coventry fire district.  There are no pending criminal charges.

West Warwick Residents Approve Critical Budget

May 23, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Residents of West Warwick have passed a town budget that scales back services and raises taxes as part of an effort to avoid a financial crisis.  The move is a early step for the town's path to fiscal stability.

The $86.3 million budget comes with plenty of concessions, including cuts in town programs, a 2.9 percent increase in property taxes, and reductions to public employee pensions. But town manager Frederick Presley said the concessions are necessary if West Warwick wants to avoid bankruptcy.

The City of Central Falls plans to repair and pave 16 roads. Mayor James Diossa said the Pawtucket Water Supply Board is ripping up the roads to make repairs to water mains. Instead of just patching the roads back together, the city will completely repave them.

“Pawtucket Water Supply opens up the roads and they were willing to grid the roads and leave it to the point where we just have to cover it with asphalt,” said Diossa, “so that’s why it’s very, very cheap for 16 roads.”

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau has been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a $25,000 fine for accepting gifts from a man who received lucrative city contracts.  Moreau will leave behind a wife and two young sons when he reports to prison March 4th.

Charles Moreau’s hands trembled as Judge Jack McConnell handed down his sentence: 24 months in a federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a hefty fine.  

State police have charged a Central Falls clerk with embezzlement. The clerk in the finance office is charged with taking thousands of dollars in fines collected by the city’s Municipal Court.

The city’s finance director noticed discrepancies, did an audit, and discovered that over a period of time a total of $13,620 in cash and checks were transferred to collections clerk Joyce Tager but never deposited into the city’s bank account.

Catherine Welch

Once again the Central Falls receiver will try and meet with the full city council. It’s a chance for the receiver’s office to walk elected officials through a five-year plan guiding the city back to financial solvency.

Three city council members have skipped a handful of earlier meetings. Council president William Benson Jr. is one of them. He says there’s no legal reason why he should meet and go over the plan, so don’t expect him there Monday night.

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist holds a public meeting tonight in Central Falls. She’ll take questions from the community while seated alongside a panel of local school leaders.

Numerous concerns have emerged about the tiny school district in the wake of the Central Falls bankruptcy. The school department has agreed to merge some services with the city including finance, human resources and sports.