Report Shows Rutland Mayor’s Actions Were Legal Regarding Refugee Resettlement

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After one and a half hours of Executive Session, Rutland‘s Board of Alderman unanimously voted to make an investigative report on Mayor Chris Louras public.  It details the process he took six months prior to, and after his announcement that Rutland City would resettle 100 Syrian refugees beginning in October.  That announcement happened April 26th.

The 26-page report, done by City Attorney Charles Romeo, concludes Louras’ actions were legal and did not violate City Charter.  Certain Aldermen were concerned about their lack of involvement in this process.  The report details Louras’ meetings with Vermont’s Refugee Resettlement Program, as well as state and federal officials.

Aldermen President William Notte says the report took about a month to complete.  It begins in late November of 2015, when the report shows Louras made inquiries to Governor Peter Shumlin’s office on how Rutland could be considered a refugee resettlement site.

At Monday night’s meeting, a packed City Hall heard the Board’s vote.

Rutland is sort of dying as a community and I think this will bring us good, new life and it’s something to be proud of,” says Clare Coppock, who hopes to be a landlord to a refugee family.  “I just think it was the right thing to do, even if he should’ve been more open with the board.”

“The way the Mayor didn’t include the Alderman when he first started the process, he would’ve been more abreast of the questions that were going to come up,” says Kevin Pratico, who is against resettling refugees in Rutland.  “He went ahead with something he felt would help him in the long run.”

Local 22 and Local 44 News attempted to reach Mayor Louras.  He was not in the Rutland area Monday night.  He did not return our phone calls for comment.

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