Pawtucket, R.I., Mayor, Under Indictment, Won’t Run Again
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) _ Mayor Brian Sarault, who faces federal extortion charges in connection with an alleged city contracts-for-campaign donations scheme, said today he would not run for re-election this year.
Sarault up until now defiantly has refused calls for his resignation.
He said he would not step down, but he would not seek to regain his office for a third term in the Oct. 8 Democratic primary.
″The most recent events have affected the timetable. I’m not sure I can run an effective campaign,″ the embattled mayor said.
Sarault last week was indicted a second time.
The superseding indictment repeated the original allegations that he extorted $2,000 from state Rep. Robert Weygand, whose landscape architecture company had a city contract.
And it added an allegation that Sarault also tried to extort $5,000 from a Massachusetts engineering firm.
The new indictment made it certain the trial would not happen until after the primary, Sarault said.
Since the original indictment in June, two of Sarault’s political confidants, chief aide Paul Savoie and City Solicitor Fred Joslyn Jr., have resigned.
The state Ethics Commission also is considering a complaint from City Council President Raymond Houle, once one of Sarault’s strongest allies, that would force the mayor out of office.
Sarault said he would not resign before the end of his term in order not to besmirch his name. He continued to declare his innocence.
″To those who prejudge me, that is their prerogative. To those who would give me my day in court, thank you,″ he said.