Completed audit of North Providence supt. spending expected next week

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NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Mayor Charlie Lombardi told Eyewitness News Wednesday night he expects the audit into the expenditures of the town’s former superintendent to be completed by next week. 

Former Superintendent Bridget Morisseau was placed on administrative leave in July amid allegations she used a school department credit card to buy personal items. The school committee accepted her resignation a week after she was placed on leave.

An audit into Morisseau’s expenditures began in mid August. At the time, Mayor Charlie Lombardi said he wanted the audit to be completed quickly. He tells Eyewitness News that audit is still underway as of Wednesday, but he said he hopes it will be done next week.

“I think everyone has learned a lesson,” Lombardi said. “I just wish that I had a little more say or control over the school department because I can guarantee this wouldn’t have happened.”

Eyewitness News obtained documents detailing some of the purchases Morisseau made with her taxpayer-funded credit card. The documents reveal she spent more than $2,200 at a Connecticut Resort, $165 at a North Providence hair salon, and $79 on a dog booster seat.

According to the documents, Morisseau spent more than $4,500 in personal expenses. She also racked up more than $2,500 in charges without a receipt.

Morisseau admitted she may have used the card in error, and her attorney told Eyewitness News back in August she expects to make restitution in full.

In the meantime, Lombardi said the audit is bringing new information to light.

“From what I understand, there is a little more information that we are looking for because different things are being discovered, smaller things,” Lombardi said.

Lombardi said he couldn’t elaborate on what those smaller things are, and he isn’t sure how much the town will need Morisseau to pay back. But, he said it is likely this case will be turned over to the police. 

“As far as whether it’s going to be turned over to the police, I’m sure I’m leaning towards that,” Lombardi said.

After the allegations surfaced, Lombardi canceled all credit cards in the school district. He said the district is still operating without them.

In the meantime, Robert O’Brien is serving as interim superintendent. Lombardi said a new school committee will be seated in January, and he hopes a new superintendent will be appointed by then as well.

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