A Massachusetts councilman accused his city mayor of “intimidation” after he pulled out a gun during an informal, late-night meeting in an SUV between the two officials. But the mayor disputes the claim, the Boston Herald reported.
Fall River, Mass. Mayor William Flanagan (pictured above) met with city councilman Jasiel Carreia II around midnight on Aug. 15 in a Ford Explorer to discuss a recall petition targeting Flanagan.
Carreia signed the petition filed by town residents to recall the mayor over tax hikes and garbage fees. Flanagan, who has challenged the petition’s validity, allegedly asked Carreia to call the Fall River Herald News and say he was intimidated into signing the recall petition.
According to Carreia, Flanagan took a gun out of the center console in the SUV and told the councilman that he never leaves home without his firearm.
“Obviously when he took out a gun, the whole thing escalated,” Carreia told the Boston Herald on Monday. “This is the mayor. I don’t know what he’s capable of. He didn’t forewarn me he had a gun. I thought, ‘This is ridiculous. This is crazy.’ There’s no doubt in my mind there was intimidation being used. No doubt.”
However, Flanagan said that the gun was in his waistband and that he never took it out. He claims he only showed Carreia the gun and was trying to show Carreia how to protect himself.
Another city councilman enter the mayor’s vehicle partway through the meeting and said he didn’t “feel that anyone was threatened,” according to the Herald.
Flanagan had previously been investigated by a local newspaper in October 2013 about his alleged connections to Joe Ruggiero, an associate of former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio. Around the same time of the investigation, Flanagan claimed that Ruggiero place a bid to buy the Fall River Herald News, the same paper investigating the mayor’s mob ties. The paper denied that Ruggiero made a bid.