PROVIDENCE, R.I. —Providence mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza is blaming a former adviser for copying another politician’s wording and putting it in a letter to voters explaining a shoplifting arrest from when he was 18.

City Council President Michael Solomon, Elorza’s opponent in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, accused Elorza of plagiarism, while Elorza’s campaign said he would have immediately corrected the problem had he known about it.

Language in Elorza’s letter is nearly identical to wording in a letter by Central Falls Mayor James Diossa to constituents two years ago explaining his own shoplifting arrest as a teen. GoLocalProv was the first to report the similarities.

Elorza’s campaign said the unidentified former adviser also worked on Diossa’s letter. Elorza and Diossa said in the letters that the stealing incidents were youthful mistakes.

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