Fall River Mayor Denies Confirming He’s Under Federal Investigation [VIDEO]
Despite the headline used by The Herald News, Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II insists he is not under federal investigation--at least, not that he's aware of.
In an interview with WBSM's Barry Richard, Correia said a misleading headline of "Fall River Mayor Admits He Is Under FBI Investigation" has given the wrong impression, and that he never acknowledged being under any kind of investigation, either personally, as the mayor of Fall River or as the president of the app company SnoOwl, the private business he began before becoming mayor.
"I cannot acknowledge something that I do not know exists," he said. "And I have never been informed, nobody at City Hall has been informed, nobody has been called at City Hall to testify or talk to any FBI agents. It's very ironic that all the people that seem to talk to the FBI are all my opponents, or people that have become my opponents over time."
Correia said he agreed to sit down with The Herald News and address the situation because the paper had obtained SnoOwl documentation, which he said they received from an anonymous source that had leaked the documents to the paper. He said he wanted to address some of the allegations that had been made, but that he never admitted to being under federal investigation. He said that didn't stop the paper from making that the headline of the piece.
"I want to make it clear, I disagree with the headline," Correia said. "I think the article was factual. I think (reporter Jo C. Goode) represented my side of the story pretty accurately pertaining to SnoOwl, but I think the headline--I don't know who picked the headline, but it's very misleading, because I did not confim an investigation."
"There may very well be one, there may very well not be one," he said. "But I am not the person that's going to confirm it, that doesn't make sense, that I would confirm something that I don't know."
The mayor took to his Facebook page Wednesday night, following the article's publication online, to refute the headline.
Correia told Richard the only issue with SnoOwl was "unfortunately, a slight accounting error at one point in time, which has been corrected, long before any talk of investigation or any of this nonsense."
"If there are bad accounting practices or issues with paperwork, that's not a criminal issue," Correia said. "That's something that is dealt with by the appropriate people, and those are not FBI agents or HUD agents. A private company has nothing to do with those entities."
Correia said his app company never took any money from the City of Fall River or any business grants that would connect it to HUD.
"I can't believe I'm literally being crucified for having a private business, as an entrepenuer at 19 years old. In fact, I've used local companies to develop the app, in both New Bedford and Fall River. It's perplexing people want to drag something that is a private business...but I get it, it's political season."
So even though Correia is denying any knowledge of an investigation, he says he does not deny knowledge that his political opponents have been "stirring the pot" by calling federal agencies about him.
"They are more than welcome to investigate, to question, to examine and ask for evidence to prove those allegations," he said. "Because I am telling you, at the end of the day, unequivocally, there will be nothing."
The complete interview with Mayor Jasiel Correia II on The Barry Richard Show can be heard in this video: