The conversation in the city of Fall River dealing with a cap on legal cannabis dispensaries has filled the Summer.
In the last week, Mayor Jasiel Correia II in a letter stated his intent to veto the cap of 11 for legal recreational dispensaries in Fall River voted on by the city council earlier this Summer. The council will have an opportunity to overturn that decision at their next meeting.
In the latest portion of the debate the question of which councilors should have voted and who should have recused themselves has come up.
In a conversation with the Fall River Mayor, Jasiel Correia II told WSAR Councilor Shawn Cadime and perhaps Leo Pelletier should have recused themselves from the vote.
"First and foremost, I think Mr. Pelletier is disgruntled because some of the plans he may of had going on from the people he brought forward were not viable candidates,” he said. “So, I think it's a personal issue. I think he should have abstained."
"The question that arose with Councilor Cadime's apparent conflict of interest,” he explained. “Now, I know he may explain that he doesn't negotiate or sign but certainly there is a connection, especially through the city of Fall River and also I think it’s just is not a good precedent.”
The Mayor said this is a rare circumstance among the nine councilors.
“This is a unique situation,” Correia said. ”There is no other city councilor that would have this conflict of interest."
WSAR News also spoke with Councilor Cadime. He accused the Mayor of being a “sociopath” in his reaction to the letter and response to Correia.
"Obviously, faulty logic on the Mayor's part,” Cadime said. “Typically, sociopaths tend to reflect what they do onto others and try to distract people. That's essentially what we have here. We have Jasiel deflecting his actions.”
Councilor Cadime claims the Fall River Mayor has acted immorally.
“It's unethical behavior the way he goes about issuing host community agreements for retail and medical marijuana onto other people,” he explains. “Everything I've done in Seekonk is consistent with what I've done in Fall River."
Cadime went on to explain to WSAR the process Seekonk followed through a town meeting and voting process.
"The Board of Selectmen tried to make a decision that they wanted to ban recreational marijuana so we went through that process, which was a public process.”
“They put together a bylaw that went to town meeting and also put it on a ballot question to ban recreational marijuana,” he said. “That failed both."
Correia said Cadime should have recused himself from making any decisions on a cannabis license cap in Fall River.
"I'm not saying it's an ethical violation but certainly anybody that has common sense can say ok if I'm representing another community as there CEO or city administrator like Shawn Cadime is doing in the town of Seekonk then I probably shouldn't be voting to limit the number of licenses in other communities that I'm also city councilor in.”
The Mayor claims Fall River should be aware of Cadime being a deciding vote in setting a limit to cannabis licenses.
“And that's exactly what he did,” Mayor Correia said. “He was one of the deciding votes to limit the number arbitrarily of licenses in Fall River and I think that raises a concern that residents and taxpayers should be aware of."
In the conversation with Councilor Cadime he explained the situation in Seekonk regarding the process of issuing licenses and host agreements.
"The town was required to submit at least twenty percent of off-premise liquor licenses which in our case is two licenses,” he said. “We had a number of submitted applications.”
Cadime continued, “we had two companies who had already submitted, looking for a license that actually had a purchase and sales agreement on property. Which, by the way, Seekonk has an overlay district so it's very specific and exciting locations for these marijuana facilities."
Fall River City Council President Cliff Ponte did recuse himself the vote on capping the number of legal cannabis dispensaries.