Once upon a time, Rick Perry complained that filing charges against your political opponents wasn’t the proper way to resolve disputes. In light of this, let’s turn to Fall River, Massachusetts, where Mayor William Flanagan shows us the proper way: you pull a gun.
Flanagan has been accused by town Councilman Jasiel Carreia of pulling a gun on him during an informal, late-night meeting in an SUV between the two officials. Flanagan contests the charges of intimidation; according to him, he as merely trying to teach Carreia how to defend himself.
According to TPM, the incident happened around midnight on August 15 in a Ford Explorer. The two men were discussing a recall petition targeting Flanagan, which Carreia had signed. Flanagan, who challenged the validity of the petition, allegedly asked Carreia to call the Fall River Hearld News and say that he was intimidated into signing the recall petition.
And then, Flanagan attempted to intimidate Carreia into telling the local paper he’d been intimidated into signing the 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.
It reads like something out of a Mafia story; since Liberland already cited The Godfather, I’m stuck reaching for cheap imitations like The Last Don. And the reference wasn’t just to build a narrative metaphor, though; TPM notes that Flanagan had been investigated by the local news paper for alleged connections to real-life Mafioso Joe Ruggiero, an associate of former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio.
Flanagan’s been mayor since 2009, and is a former state prosecutor. Flanagan maintains that “was showing Correia how to handle people the councilor claims had bullied him into signing the petition against the mayor.”