Charles Moreau

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has approved disgraced former Mayor Charles Moreau’s request for legal fees dating back to his days as mayor and before he was convicted on federal corruption charges. The high court overturned a Superior Court decision that denied both Moreau and the Central Falls legal fees for their challenge to the state law that allowed the city to be put into receivership.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Charles Moreau, the former mayor of Central Falls is a free man. 

Moreau served thirteen months of a two-year prison sentence for pleading guilty to corruption charges.

However, in separate case, a federal appeals court found the same charges did not constitute criminal activity.

Moreau’s conviction was vacated on the grounds that he would plead guilty to a new charge of bribery.

U.S. Attorney General Peter Neronha says that while he’s unhappy the Moreau walked free, at least Moreau was convicted of a new charge.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Former Central Falls mayor Charles Moreau could find himself a free man as early  as Friday, despite his conviction for corruption.  A ruling in another case has through his conviction into question because he guilty to taking a gratuity.

Former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau could be freed as early as Friday from federal prison, according to a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha.

Moreau was convicted of bribery and has served 13 months of his 2-year sentence in a Maryland federal prison. Since his conviction, a federal appeals court has ruled in an unrelated case involving a businessman and a legislator in Puerto Rico. That ruling said federal law does  not ``criminalize gratuities’’ and dismissed the charges against both men.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa won’t have any competition when he seeks re-election this fall.  Diossa won election last year as the first Latino mayor in the predominantly minority city.

Diossa will have a clean shot to win a three-year term when Central Falls voters go to the polls in November. The 28-year-old mayor says he’s humbled by what he calls a vote of confidence in his leadership.

Since James Diossa’s swearing in as Mayor of Central Falls, his former seat on the City Council has sat empty. Steven Corrales is running unopposed for this seat in a special election this March 26th. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s Jehane  Samaha reports, time is running out for Central Falls voters to register.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The tiny city of Central Falls  is moving ahead Thursday evening with what is considered one of the toughest ethics reforms for a small municipality in the country,  even as efforts to restore state Ethics Commission oversight of the General Assembly continue to languish.

Ian Donnis

US Attorney Peter Neronha says the sentencing this week of former Central Falls mayor Charles Moreau is a stark reminder of a blinkered view of public service held by a string of corrupt Rhode Island politicians.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Feb 13, 2013

Former Central Falls mayor Charles Moreau is being sent to prison.  Plastic grocery bags may be banned in Rhode Island.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.

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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.  

(PROVIDENCE, RI) A Superior Court judge will meet Wednesday with the two sides wrangling over control of Central Falls. Attorneys for the state-appointed receiver say by state law it’s up to the receiver to decide when it’s time to step away. But a lawyer representing some city council members says the time limit on receivership is up.

New mayor to be sworn-in for central Falls

Jan 1, 2013

Central Falls is celebrating not only a new year, but a new leader as well. City Council member James Diossa  will be sworn in as the city’s first Latino mayor Tuesday. The ceremony will take place at six pm at Central Falls High School.
Diossa won decisive victories in both a primary and general election to lead the impoverished Rhode Island city, which just emerged from bankruptcy. He replaces Charles Moreau, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges and is awaiting sentencing.

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Everything pales in comparison to the horrific news today from Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed more than two-dozen people, including 20 children. Governor Lincoln Chafee says state officials have offered to assist their counterparts in Connecticut . . . . Here's my countdown for the week: 

As Charles Moreau yields the mayor’s office in Central Falls  in advance of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, city councilor James Diossa is seriously considering a run for mayor, sources tell RIPR.