Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 11-13-2019

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 115

4 NORTH PROVIDENCE NOVEMBER 13-19, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION In a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the second charge if Morisseau admitted to the first. While the maximum penalty for Morisseau's crimes is 20 years to serve, she was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay back $9,434 to the district in restitution by this Friday, Nov. 15. Walking out of court with her husband and her lawyer, Joshua Macktaz, Morisseau was asked by The Breeze whether she would like to comment on the sentencing or apologize to the taxpayers of North Providence. Morisseau, wearing a black dress and a string of white pearls, was tight-lipped, stepping into the elevator and dipping out of sight. Morisseau's probation has been moved to Texas, where she now lives. "This was unfortunate and embar- rassing," said Mayor Charles Lombardi. "I guaranteed our taxpay- ers there would be full restitution, and there was." Lombardi said the town has never been as involved as it is now on oversight of school spending. "Her conviction is completely incompatible with a continued career in education," he said. In pleading to the first charge, Morisseau waived her right to appeal the guilty finding or sentenc- ing, and her right to be presumed innocent. Had the case gone to trial, the state was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between July 2017 and July 2018, Morisseau used public funds to pay for person- al expenses on multiple occasions using her work-issued bank card. Asked whether she understood the rights she was waiving, a stone-faced Morisseau responded, "yes, your honor." This marked the culmination of a months-long investigation into the former superintendent's spending during her tenure, when she used her school credit card on personal purchases that included airline tick- ets and hotel rooms. She admitted to spending $4,621 in personal purchases using her school district credit card while she was superintendent. Those purchases, according to credit card logs previously obtained by The Breeze, included more than $1,200 for two stays at the Waters Edge Spa and Resort in Conn., $500 in airfare for Morisseau and her husband, $1,000 for WGB Fine Catering, and various Amazon pur- chases. The remaining $4,813 in restitu- tion amounted to what Morisseau was overpaid or improperly reim- bursed. In March of last year, Morisseau was reimbursed for hotel reserva- tions that she made for the assistant superintendent to attend a confer- ence, but the assistant had paid for her own accommodations and been reimbursed. North Providence Chief of Police David Tikoian said, "Taking advan- tage of taxpayers by using public monies for personal expenses is not only illegal, it's offensive. This type of behavior erodes the foundation of integrity and ethics citizens expect and deserve from those placed in positions of trust and responsibility, such as a school superintendent." He added, "Although this most recent public corruption case is unfortunately one of many that involved a public servant who was appointed to a position of trust and responsibility, the residents of North Providence can take some satisfaction in knowing their police department took proactive action, launching an investigation into this wrongdoing, which resulted in suc- cessful prosecution and repayment of funds to the town." Tikoian also thanked North Providence Police Det. Christopher Cote and the Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit and the Attorney General's Office "for their attention to detail and investigative tenacity with this case." Working closely with Attorney Gen. Peter Neronha and his team from the Public Integrity Unit, spe- cifically assistant Attorneys Gen. John Moreira and Peter Roklan, "the investigative and prosecutorial strat- egy which was executed paved the way for the former superintendent to be held accountable for her actions and the citizens to be reimbursed for their losses," he said. Since Morisseau resigned from her job as superintendent last July, the district has put in a number of safeguards, including writing a new credit card policy requiring the School Committee to approve of any individual that holds or has access to a school district credit card. Joseph Goho, who took over as superintendent of schools, said the School Committee has been "pro- active by developing new policies around credit card accountability, and has reorganized the finance office to ensure increase oversight of all aspects of the budget." MORISSEAU From Page One Rep. O'Brien looks forward to reports on arming college police PROVIDENCE – Rep. William O'Brien, of District 54 in North Providence, says he's looking for- ward to reviewing reports from the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the Community College of Rhode Island on issues related to arming campus police. The reports are due back to the House of Representatives by Jan. 7, and are a result of a House resolution sponsored by O'Brien that passed the House during the last legislative session. "Although it is utterly disturbing to acknowledge, active shooter situa- tions are not going away in our soci- ety, and most often, targets of these vile crimes are schools," said O'Brien in a release. "It is because of this that I believe police officers at both RIC and CCRI should be allowed to carry firearms in order to protect stu- dents, faculty, staff and the public. I have been encouraged by my discus- sions with some of the stakeholders and I am eager to see the product of their work to determine if arming our campus police is the appropri- ate action to take to protect all those who walk on our higher institution's public campuses. Total safety of the campuses is my only concern." BRIDGET MORISSEAU walks out of court on Friday after being sen- tenced to three years of probation. She has also been ordered to pay res- titution. BREEZE PHOTO BY NICOLE DOTZENROD Making a Difference in the Lives of Others 610 Smithfield Road North Providence, RI 02904 (401) 353-6300 Sub-Acute Rehabilitation, Long-term Care, Secure Dementia Care and Hospice Services Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy Private and Semi-Private Rehab Rooms Admissions 24 Hours ~ 7 Days per week We accept: Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Health, Neighborhood & Medicaid Hopkins Manor NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY Notice is hereby given that the undersigned will sell, to satisfy lien of the owner, by public internet sale via for competitive bidding to begin on November 13, 2019 at 11:00 AM and conclude November 27, 2019 at 4:00 PM via the Compass Self Storage located at 711 Branch Ave. Providence, Rhode Island 02904 The personal goods stored therein by the following may include, but are not limited to general household, furniture, boxes, clothes, and appliances. 1150 Efrain Rivera 2270 Alicia Ibarra 2312 Milly Vega 2372 Maria Fuentes 7246-4248 Patrick Conway 7277 Ebunola Jegede 7356 Lamar Harris 9167 Joshua Maldonado 9252 Warren Gomes 9264 Donnetta Hall 9384 Derrisha Bryant Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the time of sale. All goods are sold as is and must be removed at the time of purchase. Compass Self Storage reserves the right to refuse any bid. Sale is subject to adjournment. Custom Finish or You Finish & Save Tables • Chairs • Entertainment Centers Stools • Hutches • Bookcases • Benches Corner Cabinets • Bedroom Sets • etc. 1661 Lonsdale Ave., Lincoln, RI 725-0360 Mon.-Wed. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thu & Fri 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. UNFINISHED & FINISHED FREE 4 PEG COAT BOARD With any purchase $20 Off any purchase of $100 or more With ad. One per order. Does not apply to sale items. North Providence Public Schools 2240 Mineral Spring Avenue North Providence, RI 02911 Office: (401) 233-1100 Ext. 11103 Transportation RFP e District is seeking bids for Student Transportation Services Commencing July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023. For bid specifications: N. Providence Schools website, under the "About" menu select "Bids." Bidding closes on Dec. 3, 2019.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Valley Breeze - The North Providence Breeze 11-13-2019