STONEHAM, MA - Stoneham Selectwoman and State Representative candidate Caroline Colarusso criticized lawmakers today for rejecting an effort to impeach Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley, who refused to give jail time to a well known drug dealer, because as an illegal immigrant, he may have been deported by federal immigration officials.
“Unlike the incumbent State Representative, I’ll stand with other courageous legislators to hold judges accountable.” When judges are allowed to play politics and make exceptions based on a criminal’s illegal status, we are all in danger. In contrast, an American citizen in the same situation would absolutely have been sentenced to prison - no question about it”, Colarusso said.
The case involves a well-known drug dealer and illegal alien named Manuel Soto-Vittini. Judge Feeley did not give the dealer jail time, despite his checkered past and many run-ins with the Salem Police. Feeley said he did not sentence Vittini with jail time, because it would have federal immigration consequences, like deportation. In addition, commentary included in court transcripts shows that Feeley characterized the case a financial crime without an addiction aspect. Feeley also acknowledged publicly that he took into consideration deportation in other cases besides Vittini as well.
Colarusso attended a protest in Salem recently to raise public awareness as to why Feeley should be impeached. Several lawmakers filed legislation to remove Judge Feeley, but their efforts were blocked by the Democratic Legislative leadership on the floor last week.
“Does Feeley’s decision mean it’s OK to deal drugs for financial reasons? What about the families who lost loved ones to the poison being pushed by Vittini? Many of those mothers were present at the protest holding photographs of their loved ones who lost their battle with addiction. Clearly Feeley isn’t considering their equal justice under the law for them”, Colarusso said. Colarusso also added that a person’sillegal status should never influence a judge to grant special privileges in their decision. “The case is exactly the type of political correctness that has the effect of injecting special privileges to those who judges feel deserve special treatment”, she said.
Colarusso also pointed out that this issue goes beyond the behavior of judges. She pointed out that the State Senate actually passed a budget amendment to make Massachusetts a Sanctuary State. Colarusso is the only candidate in this race that opposes Massachusetts becoming a Sanctuary State. “It ties the hands of police officers and its dangerous for our communities.” Colarusso said. She concluded that it is more important than ever to educate everyone on the impacts of dangerous judicial decisions and the consequences if Massachusetts became a Sanctuary State.
“I want to live in a state where the law is followed and applied equally to all. I don’t want law enforcement prohibited from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as it pertains to criminal illegal aliens. If Massachusetts becomes a Sanctuary State, this is what will happen,” Colarusso said.
Stoneham Selectwoman Caroline Colarusso is a candidate for State Representative in the 31st Middlesex District encompassing the towns of Stoneham and Winchester. She can be reached by email at CarolineColarusso@gmail.com or via her webpage at www.Caroline4rep.com or by phone at (781)438-5720.