CENTRAL FALLS—The federal court hearing for former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau, related to a review of his case that could possibly lead to an early release from prison, has been moved to Thursday, Jan. 30, at 9:30 a.m.
Moreau, imprisoned in Maryland on a corruption charge, will appear for a status conference before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell.
McConnell signed a court order last week calling for prison officials to transport Moreau back to Rhode Island for the hearing. He has declined to provide any additional comment on the case, and Moreau's attorney, Anthony Traini, of Providence, has not returned phone calls asking for comment.
Moreau pleaded guilty in the fall of 2012 to corruption charges related to his acceptance of a new furnace and other home repairs from friend and businessman Michael Bouthillette who received a lucrative city contract for boarding up foreclosed houses. He was sentenced by McConnell to two years in federal prison last February and fined $25,000.
Officials close to Moreau's case say it is being reviewed anew due to a ruling by the 1st U.S. Court of Appeals last June in a case involving a lawmaker in Puerto Rico and concerns the definition of a “bribe” versus a “gratuity.” The court found that it is not a crime for a government official to accept a gratuity.