Central Falls mayoral hopeful Diossa refuses to debate Moran

So much for a new era of political openness in Central Falls.

City Councilman James Diossa, the 27-year-old who won an overwhelmingly victory in the Nov. 6 mayoral primary, is refusing to debate the opponent he faces in the Dec. 11 runoff election, former Central Falls Police Chief Joseph Moran.

Diossa and Moran are seeking to finish the term of former mayor Charles Moreau, who resigned due to corruption charges. Diossa spokesman Bill Fischer turned down an invitation to debate Moran on the Nov. 30 taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers.

“James has already participated in three debates with Colonel Moran,” Fischer told WPRI.com in an email, noting that Diossa and Moran took part in candidate forums prior to the primary. “Given the short window between the primary and the general in the special election, we are respectfully going to decline the invitation.”

Moran will appear on the program without Diossa, who was on the board of Engage Rhode Island until he kicked off his campaign for mayor.

Diossa has been making an aggressive bid for the mayor’s job, winning endorsements from leading Democrats including U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and Central Falls Sen. Elizabeth Crowley. Diossa has spent $28,553 on his campaign since Oct. 16, eight times more than Moran, who has spent $3,472.

Diossa has emphasized his commitment to changing the way Central Falls does business.

“To turn Central Falls around and restore the trust of our people, I pledge to run the most transparent city government possible,” he said when he unveiled proposed new ethics rules [pdf]. Phil West, Common Cause Rhode Island’s former leader, praised Diossa’s commitment to “honesty, integrity and transparency.”

Tim White contributed to this report. This story has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly said Diossa is 28 years old; he is 27.

4 thoughts on “Central Falls mayoral hopeful Diossa refuses to debate Moran

  1. It bewilders me that media site like this actually take Joe Moran seriously. Only in Rhode Island.

    Moran “retired” at age 47 as police chief with a taxpayer funded pension worth more than $61,000 — which happens to be the HIGHEST pension in the city. At age 47.

    And, then, he was hired THE VERY NEXT DAY by the corrupt former Mayor Chuck Moreau. He got a backroom deal that left him with taxpayer benefits like health care with no co-pays, a city matched 401(k), a clothing allowance and bonuses all worth nearly $160,000 a year.

    After his contract was voided, Joe Moran sued the taxpayers & won a settlement over $75,000 – all while the City was declaring bankruptcy!

    And, as police chief, where was Moran when his friend the Mayor was wheeling and dealing with the boarding up of houses?

    And this guy actually convinces the media to create news coverage of him?? Four words. Only in Rhode Island.

    • Megan,
      talk about clueless, you missed this one by a mile. Joe never retired and was rehired. There was no gap in his employment. It was a new contract, which had been negotiated for almost a year then confirmed by the council. the pension is 22k per year and Joe is the most upstanding citizen you could ever meet.
      His pension for your information was a private pension he paid into for 25 years through John Hancock. He also volunteered for 10 months to Run the wyatt detention center as the administrator during the void after the admin was fired. WITH NO PAY… DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A CROOK. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED. DIOSSA CAN NOT COMPARE TO JOE. MASTERS DEGREE, GRADUATE OF THE FBI NATIONAL ACADEMY, FLUENT IN THE SPANISH LANGUAGE, OVER A MILLION DOLLARS WAS BROUGHT IN WITH GRANTS & APPROPRIATIONS DURING HIS CONTRACT. Joe managed a 3.5 million dollar police budget with no issue and is a home owner in the city.
      James Diossa, lives at home with Mom & Dad, does not own a home, has a bachelors degree and 0.00 experience either with management or budgets.
      He is being endorsed because he is a spanish speaking puppet.
      wake up people

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