Candidate claims he's victim of political fraud

Joe Carvalho

A political candidate claims he is the victim of stolen identity and dirty politics.

The candidate for mayor in Fall River claims someone sent out a press release with his name on it, and those papers falsely accused a city official.

Mayoral candidate Joe Carvalho has contacted police, saying he's the victim of a political fraud and an email he argues didn't come from him.

The email address reads joecarvalho2013, but Joe Carvalho claims it's not him.

The candidate for mayor of Fall River claims someone created a fake email account with his name.

"Anyone who's received an email from a Gmail account saying it's from my campaign, its fraud, and they should know that," Carvalho told NBC 10 Monday night.

An email sent from the account Monday to local news outlets accused city council President Linda Pereira of some questionable behavior, something Carvalho says he didn't do. "I was as taken aback as anyone when I heard this press release was distributed," he said.

Pereira told NBC 10 she believes Carvalho and thinks the email is someone else playing dirty politics.

Carvalho is running against incumbent Mayor Will Flanagan.

Carvalho isn't outright blaming the mayor, but he said, "I certainly would expect the mayor to hold, to conduct an investigation into this, to see if any of his people were actually involved in this."

Carvalho said he has filed a complaint with police. "It's fraudulent. It's a crime, besides being reprehensible on a whole other level."

NBC 10 left a message on Mayor Flanagan's cell phone and talked to one of his staffers Monday night before 9 p.m., which was shortly after Carvalho came out with his claim.