FBI May Not Be Done with Fall River [OPINION]
The rumor mill is working overtime in Fall River. With twice-indicted Mayor Jasiel Correia headed to the finals in November after surviving yesterday's preliminary election, the city is abuzz with gossip about what shoe might fall next – and who it might land on.
A veteran city councilor was overheard last week claiming to have first-hand knowledge that Correia was about to be snagged again on new charges the very next day. It didn't happen. As is often the case with rumors, those who claim to be in the know actually know nothing at all.
Fall River is the stuff that legends are made of. There is seldom a time when someone hasn't heard that the FBI or the Inspector General or someone else was conducting an investigation and that indictments would be forthcoming soon.
WBSM News reached out to Fall River State Rep. Carole Fiola this week via email regarding reports that she had recently been interviewed by the FBI regarding the Correia investigation. It would not seem unreasonable since her husband, former FROED executive director Ken Fiola, first revealed in 2015 that Correia was under investigation before Correia was even charged last year. One can only assume that Fiola must have been interviewed or knows people who were to have that little tidbit of information, right? Correia later fired Fiola and the war was on.
Rep. Fiola's email response to the inquiry was curious: "Never ever questioned by the FBI." That email was followed by another just 11 minutes later seeking to clarify what appeared to be a pretty simple declarative statement: "To clarify. I have never ever been interviewed by the police, FBI or anyone regarding this case or ever related to these Fall River matters." The clarification raises more questions and even hints that perhaps she was interviewed about other matters.
One thing is for sure: the U.S. Attorney's Office said on the record that the investigation into Jasiel Correia is ongoing. That oftentimes means that new charges and new defendants are possible. I do not suggest that Rep. Fiola is under investigation or even under suspicion of any wrongdoing, but her response makes me wonder who might be under the glass and what information she might have about any possible investigation.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.