In copies of letters this week forwarded to WSAR, Fall River City Council Member Shawn Cadime and the lead Defense Attorney for Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II engaged in a war of words.
This came in the wake of comments Cadime made during the most recent City Council session in a debate over the resolution asking that the number of cannabis dispensaries in the city of Fall River be capped off at the number 11.
Cadime’s comments sounded like this:
"I think something that we are aware of but ignore is the money being given to the administration by these marijuana companies for the licenses and the kickback they're receiving in order to issue these licenses,” he said. “This is an issue”
Cadime told council this has been ignored in the continuous cannabis conversation.
“The only way for us to put a stop to it is to put a cap on the number of licenses that we have,” he said. “It's an unfortunate situation but it's the reality of the situation. We can continue to turn a blind eye but sooner or later we'll start to see additional charges come down on individuals receiving money for these licenses.”
He continued. “We'll all be sitting here saying we should have put a cap on it to eliminate the exposure. To say that there is no issues is a lie at this point or misleading the public."
The statement prompted a letter to Cadime from Kevin Reddington, who is Mayor Correia’s Lead Defense Attorney. He called the comments “slanderous” and in the letter’s final paragraph said that “further irresponsible, childish comments of this incendiary nature will be made at your own legal peril.”
In a conversation with Councilor Cadime following the release of these letters on the same day, WSAR was told that he took the legal advice of the Mayor’s attorney of reaching out to the U.S Attorney..
"I don't think I have any useful information,” he said. “Obviously, at the recommendation of Jasiel Correia's Defense Attorney, I reached out and I'm sure the U.S Attorney is speaking to more important individuals that have a lot more information to offer than I can.”
Cadime continued. “Notwithstanding that, I went to live up to the recommendation to take the free legal advice that Jasiel Correia's Defense Attorney gave me so I reached out to the U.S Attorney."
The Fall River City Councilor is confident he will not have any legal issues due to these comments.
"First of all, as an elected official the threshold for slander is a lot higher than the average person so I'm not worried about that at all,” he explained. “Quite frankly, my comments weren't slanderous. I think there are people that are in denial of what's going on. And then there are people who have been hearing the exact same thing since 2016 with what's been transpiring.”
Cadime said either everyone has looked the other way or is waiting for someone else to do something about it.
“We've turned a blind eye or we've been waiting for the F.B.I and the U.S Attorney's Office to do what they need to do," he said.
In a letter dated July 23, 2019 and sent to the lead federal prosecutor in the case of the United States of America vs. Jasiel Correia II, councilor Cadime offered to provide “any assistance I can bring to put an end to the political corruption, which in my opinion has plagued the city of Fall River since 2016.
Cadime closed his letter by asking for a meeting to be of “any assistance to the U.S Attorney’s Office or the F.B.I.”