NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence mayor candidate Jorge Elorza is blaming a former adviser for copying wording used by another politician and using it in a letter to city voters explaining Elorza's shoplifting arrest when he was 18.

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

Elorza's campaign didn't identify the former adviser.

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 teenager. GoLocalProv was the first to report about the similarities between the two letters.

Elorza's campaign said its former adviser also worked on Diossa's letter. Elorza and Diossa said the stealing incidents were youthful mistakes and they took full responsibility.