Gen Andrade, former mayor Jasiel Correia’s chief of staff and campaign manager, was not sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court.
In December of 2020, an emotional Andrade changed her plea to guilty in a virtual hearing which led to today’s proceedings.
Andrade, who is facing two counts of extortion, two counts of extortion conspiracy, one count of bribery, and one count of false statements, submitted a guilty plea agreed to by both sides where she would be sentenced to 12 months of supervised release and a fine, along with time served. The agreement also involved agreeing to testify for the prosecution in the case against Correia, however, Andrade was never called to testify.
Prosecution and Judge Woodlock went back and forth, at times forcefully, concerning there being a justified reason for Judge Woodlock to take the plea.
Andrade was visibly upset as her counsel, Rankin, was attempting to convince Judge Woodlock to sign off on the plea deal.
Judge Woodlock took the recommendation under advisement, but did not accept the plea deal as he felt the citizens of Fall River did not receive a faithful employee in addition to her initially lying. Whitlock felt that a plea agreement should consist of jail time and felt the $10,000 fine was too low.
The judge’s decision possibly puts Andrade’s case to trial unless the government decides to drop the case or comes to terms with a different agreement that Judge Woodlock will accept.
During the December hearing, Zach Hafer from the prosecution listed evidence in the case against Andrade which included bank statements and testimony that Andrade was giving Correia half of her salary almost immediately upon being hired as chief of staff, including a snow stipend that was granted to Andrade.
Evidence also included testimony that marijuana vendor Charles Saliby paid Correia $150,000 which was to be used for Correia’s legal fees in the SnoOwl case. Sailby was to receive a non-opposition letter for the payment in which Correa stated that no more letters would be issued.
Andrade admitted she was guilty of the above infractions in addition to conspiring with Correia to extort a Fall River business owner. Specifically, Andrade conspired with Correia to obtain a stream of benefits, including cash and a Rolex watch valued at approximately $7,500 to $12,000, in exchange for official action and assistance that was favorable to the business owner.
Finally, Andrade admitted to making false statements to federal agents in December 2018 in connection with the corruption investigation into Correia.
With the rejection of the plea agreement, Andrade will now keep her previous plea of not guilty and it will not be used against her.
Correia was convicted on 21 of 24 charges on May 14. One of the charges where the jury ruled Correia was not guilty was the bribery concerning taking half of Gen Andrade’s salary. Correia states that he plans to appeal the verdict. His sentencing date is set to take place September 20th.