Corruption and Poor Ethics “Unavoidable” in Central Falls
Amazing. If you need any better illustration of the mindset of certain individuals (read: not all) in Rhode Island government, this article from W. Zachary Malinowski at the Providence Journal yesterday is about as clear as you can get.
Moreau’s brother, Frank, said the coziness of small-city politics led the ex-mayor astray.
“People that got jobs or other opportunities to earn money through Central Falls were connected to Chuck,” he wrote. “It was unavoidable.”
Yes, unavoidable. Impossible to ignore. Never mind that you’re the mayor, the highest ranking official in town, but engaging in these activities were “unavoidable” for the mayor. Never mind that he was elected to act in the best interests of the citizens of Central Falls. Screwing them over was apparently “unavoidable.” Good to know.
A former captain in the Central Falls Fire Department talked about how Moreau and Bouthillette’s program to board up vacant and abandoned buildings — the activity for which they were charged — protected city residents.
“To me, the safety of boarding up those houses to keep me and other public servants and the residents of the City of Central Falls safe was priceless!” he wrote.
Priceless? Priceless makes for some good Mastercard commercials but the boarding up of houses in Central Falls was not priceless. Not even public safety is priceless. Everything has a price. One question I’d love to ask this former police captain about the value of “priceless” is if he sees this safety being priceless, what value does he put on his own life? Is his own life also “priceless”? We can determine what value he has put on his own life by seeing how much life insurance he has bought. Yes, everything has a price, even our own lives. So please spare me the “public safety is priceless” talk. Even Moreau and Bouthilette had a price, albeit a grossly inflated one.
Additionally, the article talked about the letters that were submitted on the defendants’ behalf, to the judge, to talk about the character of each. Not surprisingly, lawyers for the defendants opposed the release of those letters to the public. Moreau’s lawyer, William J. Murphy (why is that name familiar?) wrote in his opposition:
The letters, he wrote, have “no bearing on the public’s assessment of the sentence imposed … “and would only serve to embarrass (Moreau) and his family.”
No, you know what’s embarrassing? Being elected to serve the people of a town and then screwing them over. That’s embarrassing.
Lastly, in the letter from Moreau’s wife, she wrote:
she and her husband have struggled to provide “security and stability,” for their sons — ages 8 and 4. She said that his departure for prison, on March 4, will create a void in the boys’ lives.
“For them, their father is their world,” she wrote. “It is Dad that they want to tuck them in at night, it is Dad who reads them books, and makes them breakfast in the morning. His sons come first, more importantly they know they come first.”
Struggled to provide? If the mayor’s job doesn’t pay what they need to support their children, then why is he running for the seat? Well, the answer is obvious, but the assumption is that he’ll be ethical and not corrupt. Or was the intent from day one to be corrupt and take from your own citizens?
I do feel sad for Moreau’s sons. It is a tragedy any time a parent is taken away from children, for any reason. But he brought this on himself. This is not the out of work, bankrupt father stealing a loaf of bread from the grocery store to feed his starving children. This was greed, pure and simple. Fortunately for the boys, Moreau will only be spending two years in a “federally funded gated community” to coin a Buddy Cianci term.