Bankrupt Cities

Former Mayor of Bankrupt R.I. City Pleads Guilty to Corruption Charges

Admits to accepting gifts in exchange for handing out lucrative contracts


The longtime mayor of struggling Central Falls resigned and has agreed to plead guilty to a federal corruption charge of accepting gifts in exchange for handing out a lucrative contract to board up city houses, according to papers filed Wednesday.

Now-former Mayor Charles Moreau and his friend, businessman Michael Bouthillette, acknowledge in a plea agreement that Bouthillette paid at least in part for a furnace installed at Moreau's former Central Falls home and for renovations at a home Moreau owned in Lincoln. The total value is estimated at $5,000 to $10,000.

In exchange, Moreau used his emergency powers to order homes that were foreclosed be boarded up by Bouthillette's business.

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  1. If only campaign contributions were treated the same way.

  2. It’s not surprising a government official can be bought, but what is depressing is that they can be bought so cheaply.

  3. Laoshi, it’s not that this mayor was “bought”. What happened is that the mayor sold a government favor, at our expense, for his own benefit.

    Those who say politicians are bought are pointing the finger of blame at those asking for government favors (typically in exchange for campaign cash, though here the mayor received personal gifts). Corporations/individuals cannot make politicians give them favors, only the politicians have that power. The politicians also have the power to affect corporate bottom lines (e.g., deny permits for that Chick-a-Fil), and start the campaign cash flowing by “regulating” business (regulations that can put them out of business). This just starts the campaign cash flowing from those looking for favors, and those looking to be left alone.

    Politicians can say NO when asked for favors, and they should. But that they don’t, shows they are the corrupt ones we should point our fingers at.

    As someone else said (Will Rogers maybe), the only way to get the money out of politics, is to get politicians out of meddling in commerce.

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