Two Rhode Island communities will be allowed to use about $70 million forfeited by Google Inc. to fix their police pension shortfalls.
The news is a boon for the financially troubled city of East Providence and the town of North Providence, which face unfunded pension liabilities in the tens of millions of dollars.
Police from those communities had helped a federal investigation into the search engine company’s distribution of ads for illegal prescription drug sales. Each community got a $60 million share when Google agreed to forfeit $500 million.
The communities asked the U.S. Department of Justice to allow them to use the money for pension shortfalls. The DOJ decided to grant the requests.