Investigation underway into Rutland mayor’s handling of refugee resettlement proposal

(AP Photo/Raad Adayleh, File)
(AP Photo/Raad Adayleh, File)

RUTLAND, Vt. (NEWS10) – The Board of Aldermen in Rutland have called for an investigation into how the mayor has been handling the Syrian refugee resettlement proposal.

The city attorney has been reviewing the findings since Sunday, and whether it will be released is still up in the air. The investigation was called to determine if Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras overstepped any boundaries by making the city a resettlement site.

Louras was interviewed for two hours by the city attorney. He said his actions are no different than what he’s been doing the past few years.

“It’s not unlike what I do all the time,” he said. “I write letters of support every other week for either grant opportunities or an application for community development fund.”

In fact, Louras wants the public to see what he’s been doing behind closed doors.

“I’m okay with it because I’m confident that I’ve done nothing more than I’ve done for the last 10 years,” he said.

Whether the results will be made public or not will be revealed during the board’s next meeting on Monday. It only takes a vote of 6.

Board president William Notte said he’s confident it will happen.

“It’s 26 pages,” he said. “It’s very detailed, and the board simply wants some time to digest it.”

But if the board votes to not release it, Notte said the document stays a secret forever.

The resettlement program still needs to be approved by the U.S. Department of State. A final decision should be expected in a couple weeks.

If it receives the stamp of approval, one family every two weeks will start moving in on North Church Street beginning in December, according to the mayor.

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