Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed joined Mayor Charles Lombardi of North Providence and Mayor James Briden of East Providence to announce that local police departments will be permitted to use part of the Google settlement money to plug gaps in police pensions.
The senators said that the United States Attorney General's office has given East Providence and North Providence Police departments permission to use a portion of the $60 million they received for their cooperation in the Google investigation to help reconcile gaps in law enforcement pensions. East Providence will be permitted to use $49.2 million for police pensions and North Providence will be allowed to use $20.6 million.
The announcement was made Friday afternoon at the North Providence Town Hall.
"On behalf of the residents of East Providence, I'd like to thank Senator Whitehouse, Senator Reed, and Governor Chafee for their respective roles in facilitating the reallocation of the Google forfeiture fund to the East Providence pension," said Briden. "This is a great day for our city, and will be central in implementing long-term financial stability."
Lombardi agreed, "this is an historic occasion, and hopefully the taxpayers realize how monumental this is for the financial stability of the town of North Providence for years to come."
The settlement with Google was announced at the beginning of April. Google agreed to the settlement because the company had allowed Canadian pharmacies to pay for advertisements as part of their advertising program. The pharmaceutical ads resulted in the unlawful importation of prescription drugs into the United States.
North Providence and East Providence police as well as the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General, the Rhode Island State Police, and the National Guard benefited from the $500 million national settlement because they cooperated and assisted in the investigation.