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Moreau breaks silence on CF receivership

December 6, 2010

CENTRAL FALLS – Still pursuing his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state receivership law at the Supreme Court, Mayor Charles Moreau is breaking his silence on the actions being taken by Receiver Mark Pfeiffer.
“There’s a dictator running the city of Central Falls and he has no clue what he’s doing,” Moreau declared in an interview with The Times Wednesday.
Moreau, who still holds the title of mayor and ostensibly serves in an advisory capacity to the receiver, says he can not even get his calls returned by Pfeiffer.
The mayor said Pfeiffer is borrowing money on the city’s behalf, has reinstated three library employees who had been laid off and has estimated that the city will spend nearly a million dollars during his tenure as receiver, and that he is being kept in the dark about all of it.
“I want to know what’s going on,” Moreau said. “I don’t know what’s going on. I’m the mayor of the city and I’m not being told what is going on.”
Amy Kempe, Carcieri administration spokesperson who also speaks for Pfeiffer, said the receiver is carrying out the duties of his office.
The $1.5 million borrowed from Navigant Credit Union was in the form of tax anticipation notes, a widely used financial instrument that allows the cities and towns, as well as the state, to maintain cash flow while waiting for tax receipts to come in.
The three unionized library workers were returned to their jobs as part of a grievance settlement, Kempe said. They had challenged their layoffs as a violation of seniority rules in their contract. With the city scheduled to go to arbitration with the worker’s bid to be reinstated with back pay to the time of their layoffs, she said, Pfeiffer made the decision to settle the grievance by giving the workers their jobs back without back pay. Instead, two people who were sharing the role of director, one full-time, one part-time, but who were basically carrying out the duties of the three union workers were laid off.
“That move saved $19,305,” Kempe said.
As for the million dollar expenditure, Kempe said the Division of Municipal Affairs recently sent the House and Senate finance committees an estimated cost for the entire fiscal year of the receiver’s operation, which came to just over $900,000. She said this includes Pfeiffer’s $200 an hour compensation, which is capped at $264,000, the cost of salary and benefits for two state employees on loan to the receiver, and the cost of outside legal counsel. Most of the cost of the outside lawyers, Kempe said, is related to the suit brought by Moreau and four of the five city councilors.
Kempe said those cost will be paid by the state and the Carcieri administration has no intention of billing the city for them. She says the state’s contract with Pfeiffer “ends with the advent of the new administration.”
“What is his exit strategy? How did he borrow money? Who approved it?” the mayor asked of the man who unceremoniously displaced him last July after being appointed by the Carcieri administration to right the financial ship of Central Falls. Moreau and the City Council sought and obtained a court-appointed receiver with the idea that the city might declare bankruptcy. That panicked state officials, who believed that action could negatively affect the credit rating of the state and all the other cities and towns if financial institutions thought a municipality could declare bankruptcy so easily.
The General Assembly passed legislation giving cities and towns an alternative to declaring bankruptcy and barring them from seeking judicial receivership. Moreau and the City Council sued in Superior Court to challenge the law but Judge Michael Silverstein ruled that the law is constitutional. That ruling is on appeal to the RI Supreme Court, which denied a request to stay Silverstein’s ruling while it considers the appeal. Moreau said he will take his case to federal court, if necessary. He added that “We will be appealing to Governor-elect Chafee to amend the wrongs done to Central Falls.” A message left with the Chafee transition team seeking comment was not answered Wednesday.
Pfeiffer had been scheduled to present a long-term plan for getting Central Falls’ finances in order to Gov. Donald Carcieri by mid-November. That has now been bumped to mid-December.
“I’m a fighter, I’m not going to give up,” Moreau asserted. “I’m in this to win it.
“The people of Central Falls are beside themselves with this situation,” the mayor contends, saying the people he has talked to “overwhelmingly want me back in my office
Since he took control of the mayor’s office last summer, Pfeiffer has closed City Hall at noon on Fridays, cutting the pay of city workers by four hours a week, he has appointed a “receiver’s council” to displace the elected City Council after the latter body ignored his instructions to refrain from making any appointments. He implemented a 10 percent supplemental tax increase and, in response to a state cut in reimbursements to cities and towns, lowered the exemption on the automobile excise tax from the first $6,000 of a vehicle’s value to the first $1,000. He cut the mayor’s salary from $71,736 to about $26,000 annually.
“I’m confident we’re going to win” the battle over the receiver, Moreau said. “The good guys always win in the end.”

Comments

Chuckie resign you dont deserve to be mayor

December 8, 2010 by fed up with chuckie and his buddies (not verified), 4 years 1 week ago
Comment: 49

I am not going to rationalize what Chuckie did to me and my family. I will say the judge is doing right and wish everyone that was laid off would get their jobs back because the ones laid off were not Chuckies friends. His friends receiving promotions and the non-chuckies friends staying or demoted or laid off. All bids since he has been in office and previous to office that he had his hands on need to be looked into. A fighter laughing out aloud, corrupted lol yes, buddies corrupted right with him. So many good people working in the city that were hurt by Chuckie and previously employed. Harassed, tormented were those employees by Chuckie and his friends many to the point of a nervous breakdown worried about their security and their lives-not to forget the families.
EVERY bid, lay offs, firings, hiring, promotions in all city offices and quasi city/state/federal agencies within the City of Central Falls need to be looked at by state and federal officials. By the way all these cuts, but xmas parties being held at companies expense??????????? even though previously paid by employees??????
My family is still suffering and sometimes can not see the light of day oh and by the way Chuckie glad your wife left you now you can see heartache...........how many houses did you resell that you got boarded up??????

You have got to be kidding me!

December 7, 2010 by pjz42905 (not verified), 4 years 1 week ago
Comment: 45

Moreau, who have you been talking to... NO ONE WANTS YOU BACK AS MAYOR!! NO ONE!! The borrowing of over a million was approved by Mr. Pfeiffer himself; as reciever doing what you should have been doing. But it was ok for you to borrow money each year from Navigant without taxpaper approval, because you did. You were in this for yourself and your own political gain. You do not and still do not care about the City of Central Falls or its residents. If you honestly cared you would attend City Meeting, but you don't! You have destroyed our city. The raising of taxes needed to be done, yea it was excessive but this city needed it. Because you didnt want to loose an election you were afraid to do the job at hand. You hired your friends to do jobs that didnt exsist, you spend tax payers dollars without their approval or voice on the matter and you sold tax paper property without a bid. You failed as Mayor. You bankrupted CF and honestly, you should be impeached.

Playing the victim..

December 7, 2010 by Watcher2010 (not verified), 4 years 2 weeks ago
Comment: 44

I think its funny how now chuck is playing the victim, the only "dictator" the city has ever seen is you chuck. Your the person costing this city so much money with your pointless lawsuits against fontes and the receiver. You spent like crazy,made your friends and yourself rich and thats why were broke. Constitutional rights? Oh like the ones you denied people under your regime with your crooked elections and wild spending to help your Napoleon complex? "The good guys always win in the end" , your exactly right thats why your out now! Thank god for the receiver!

chuckie moreau you have some nerve

December 6, 2010 by paul boston (not verified), 4 years 2 weeks ago
Comment: 43

to all the property owners you over charged with your buddy to the citizens of central falls boarding them up in these tough times you must be very warm with your new heater in your house..while you leave the central falls citizens out in the cold.... you belong in jail... time will tell how much time you should get!! RESIGN TODAY....

 

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