BOSTON (WPRI) — The attorney for the indicted former mayor of Fall River tried to get the launch of a documentary series about him delayed, according to a letter, even as his client had been promoting the production on social media ahead of his trial on fraud and extortion charges.
Kevin Reddington, the attorney for former Mayor Jasiel Correia, wrote a letter to the production company in March asking for the premiere of “Run This City” to be delayed until after Correia’s trial, which at the time was set for May 4.
On Monday, Judge Douglas Woodlock ordered that the trial be rescheduled to Sept. 14.
“Things have quieted down the last few months and I fear the fanning of the flames anew that will severely hamstring my goal to empanel an impartial jury,” Reddington wrote in the March 9 letter to Prince Vaughn of Unrealistic Ideas, the production company led by Mark Wahlberg.
He also complimented the producers, saying he was “very impressed by the fine work” done on the documentary.
The documentary crew was often seen traveling with Correia when he was mayor, including when he was dodging local reporters’ questions about his criminal indictments.
Reddington did not immediately respond to an email asking whether the producers responded, but it’s clear they did not bow to his request: the series launched Monday on the new streaming service Quibi, which offers short-form videos via a mobile platform.
Correia has been promoting the launch in recent days on his Twitter and Facebook pages.
“It’s available to watch now!” he tweeted after midnight Monday, tagging Wahlberg and Quibi in the post. (The tweet appears to have been deleted shortly after this story was published.)
The opening scene of the docuseries features Correia and his co-defendant, then-chief of staff Genoveva Andrade, celebrating after he was both recalled and re-elected by voters on the same day in March of 2019. Andrade is seen screaming with excitement in the backseat of a car.
Andrade is facing trial alongside Correia, accused of being involved in Correia’s alleged extortion of marijuana companies while he was mayor. Prosecutors say Correia forced the companies to pay him cash bribes in order to get a “letter of non-opposition” from the mayor to open a dispensary in Fall River.
The court is currently considering Andrade’s request that she be tried separately from Correia, in part because she is not accused in Correia’s alleged defrauding of people who invested in an app he created called SnoOwl.
Correia was initially indicted on the SnoOwl fraud charges in October 2018, followed by the marijuana extortion charges in September of 2019. The two indictments — both times resulting in the sitting mayor’s arrest — were combined into the same trial.
Reddington’s letter to the production company was filed in court Monday following a telephone conference between Correia’s lawyers, federal prosecutors and the judge to discuss media attention ahead of the trial.
Following the call and order for materials to be filed, prosecutors submitted a copy of a recent Boston Magazine profile of Correia entitled “The Short, Wild Ride of Correia the Kid,” for which he granted a lengthy interview.
The prosecutors also submitted to the judge a link to the trailer for Run This City, along with a link to Correia’s tweets promoting the docuseries. Reddington submitted the letter he sent the production company asking to delay the premiere date.
The clerk’s notes from the teleconference said the judge plans to review the materials.