DA appoints special prosecutor to Flanagan gun probe

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter announced Friday his office will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan threatened another city official with a handgun.

The mayor requested the independent investigation Wednesday, saying he has nothing to hide in the case.

City Councilor Jasiel Correia claims that while he and Flanagan were on a drive in early August, the mayor pulled out his gun and put it on the dashboard. Correia believes the move was aimed to intimidate him after he signed a petition to recall Mayor Flanagan.

The mayor said he did nothing illegal, and that the two were having a conversation about gun ownership at the time.

In a statement Friday, Sutter said he will appoint former state and federal prosecutor William H. Connelly to the case, who has been handling special prosecutions for the DA’s office since January of 2013.

“I am very pleased that an independent party has been appointed to investigate these false allegations that have been made against me,” Flanagan said. “Going forward, I’m going to continue my job as mayor, doing the job the majority of people elected me to do.”

The district attorney said he cannot take on the case himself due to a conflict of interest. He hired Flanagan to work in his office in 2006, and he was sworn in as assistant district attorney the following year.

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