Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-03-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 3-9, 2019 NORTH PROVIDENCE 9 could see she was getting flustered." A red flag went up in October 2017, when Morisseau and her husband charged the School Department's credit card for $500 in airfare to attend a conference. No receipt was provided for the pur- chase, nor was a legitimate school department purpose for the pur- chase provided, according to police. In February 2018, she charged $1,000 to the card for WGB Fine Catering. In the following months, a receipt for a pet carrier ordered off Amazon was deemed personal in nature. In March of last year, police say Morisseau was reimbursed for hotel reservations that she made for the assistant superintendent to attend a conference, but the assis- tant had paid for her own accom- modations and been reimbursed. Most significantly, roughly $1,200 was charged to the School Department card for a stay at Waters Edge Spa & Resort twice in April. On April 20, Morisseau allegedly used a personal Visa card to book a room at Courtyard by Marriott in Lincoln at 8:49 p.m. before paying with her school card at 9:08 p.m. There was no School Department event at this location, police said. "Maybe a month before all this broke, I could see she was strug- gling," Marciano said. "This is not a criticism of her, but I did speak to her a few times about her lack of focus. I could tell there was some- thing not quite right … she would jump from one thing to another." As Read found questionable charges, she reported them to then- Finance Director John McNamee, who has since taken a job in Lincoln. The superintendent's secretary was approached "multiple times" to request reimbursement, according to the police report, but it states that no efforts were made by Morisseau to reimburse the department. In May of last year, Citizens Bank alerted the school business depart- ment to potential fraudulent activity on the account. McNamee resigned from his position to become Lincoln's school business manager that month. McNamee explains charges McNamee told The Breeze on Monday that he had been attempt- ing to gather receipts and request reimbursements from Morisseau for several months before he reached out to the School Committee, noti- fying members for the first time last June that there was an issue. Members of the school board said they didn't know about the credit card account, and McNamee agreed that they were probably not aware until the summer. McNamee had major heart sur- gery last January and was out most of the month, he said, returning on a part-time basis in March when his focus was preparing the budget. When he saw the charge to Waters Edge Spa, he began to analyze the expenditures further. There were two cards associated with the account, one in Morisseau's possession and one in McNamee's. "My own card stayed in the office," he said. "In retrospect, I would only have one card and it would be left in the office." On July 9, 2018, McNamee penned a confidential memorandum to Chairman Marciano and attorney Ben Scungio, with the subject line, "Citizens Credit Card Analysis." Charges defined as being personal in nature added up to $4,544, with an additional $2,520 in "other" charges for which no receipts were provided. The personal charges include the two trips to Waters Edge Spa, flights from Charlotte to Providence and from Detroit to Nashville in mid-February, more than $300 in Amazon pur- chases and a $165 appointment at JLS Hair Salon on May 3. "Other" charges included roughly $1,000 spent on food. A sad conclusion to Morisseau era Roughly one year after she began in the district, Morisseau was placed on administrative leave last July 18 and resigned from her position July 25. The school board engaged the town auditor to further review her expenditures, the results of which were turned over to police last September. On March 26, Morisseau was arrested and charged with two felonies as the result of the joint investigation conducted by North Providence Police, Rhode Island State Police and the Office of the Rhode Island Attorney General. "It's just sad. To see her walking out of court was sad," McNamee said. "My hope was that we could resolve the matter and get the mon- ies paid back, but it was certainly in my mind grounds for dismissal." Knowing what he knows now, McNamee said, "I should have just told her to give me the card. I sup- pose I could have done that … but I wanted to give the individual the benefit of the doubt. Hindsight is always 20/20." From preceding page BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON Disgraced former North Providence Supt. BRIDGET MORISSEAU waves to stu- dents at last June's graduation ceremonies, weeks before her tenure in town unrav- eled. Mancini Center will host spring Dine & Dance event NORTH PROVIDENCE – The North Providence Mancini Center, 2 Atlantic Blvd., announces the fol- lowing programs. • The Mancini Cinema is open to members twice a month to watch movies, from the old classics to the new blockbusters. Free pop- corn will be served, and members will vote on future movie selec- tions. "Grease" will be shown on Thursday, April 4, at 1 p.m., and "Field of Dreams" will be shown on Tuesday, April 9 at 10 a.m. • The Creative Writing Group will meet Friday, April 5, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. • Watch the Boston Red Sox take on the Blue Jays at the center on Tuesday, April 9, at 2:05 p.m. Hot dogs and popcorn will be served. Sign up at our reception desk. • Dr. David Weed will present the program How To Follow A Low- Carb Diet on Wednesday, April 10, at 10:30 a.m. He will discuss how people can benefit from low-carb diets for weight loss and how some diets can control or prevent Type II diabetes. • University of Rhode Island Pharmacy will offer a presentation on Irritable Bowel Syndrome on Thursday, April 11, at 11 a.m. • A Spring Dine & Dance event will be held Thursday, April 11, from noon to 2 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Joe Vono and food will be catered by Mickey G's. Tickets are $12 per person and must be purchased by April 5. • A family day at Way To Grow Child Care Center will be held Friday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Free for members with transportation provided from NPMC to Way to Grow. Join the children, ages 2-5, as they celebrate National Family Day. Participants will enjoy snack time followed by a small craft or story time, and return to the center for lunch. This is a free program, with limited space. For more information, call 401- 231-0742. You can call The North Providence Breeze at 401-334-9555. Our fax is 334-9994. do you know? Head Start is now recruiting for All Head Start Options for families that live in Johnston, North Providence, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Burrillville, Foster, Glocester & Scituate. We offer Home Based services for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers! We offer Part-Day and Full-Day options for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers! We offer a State Pre-K option for children who reside in North Providence. Children must be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2019. Families can download an application or apply online for State Pre-K at: http://www.ride.ri.gov/InstructionAssessment/EarlyChildhoodEducation/StatePre-K For information on Head Start contact Holly Audette (401) 519-1979 or haudette@tricountyri.org For information on all Tri-County Services please go to our agency website tricountyri.org New Membership Discounts Available 31 Dexter Rock Road, Lincoln, RI "Great Course, Great Value, Great People" Open HOuse Saturday, April 13th Noon - 3 p.m.; & Sunday, April 14th from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. • Tour our beautiful golf course and book your FREE round of golf • Meet our Pro, Bruce MacDonald and visit our top-notch Pro Shop • Enjoy Hors d'Oeuvres & Beverages at Tomaselli's Restaurant RSVP to Mario Lemme at 401.626.6311 or e-mail: lccmembershipinfo@gmail.com Book A 40+ Person Outing & Receive: • Two $25 Pro Shop Gift Certificates • Two $25 LCC Restaurant Gift Certificates • A Free Foursome with Carts $70 Per Person for 18 Holes with Carts & Dinner Contact Bill Hervieux at 401.338.2963

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