Photo of body not a threat, Rizoli says Wednesday, August 31, 2005
David McLaughlin 508-626-4338 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- Illegal immigration critic Joe Rizoli said yesterday he is responsible for mailing the photo of a corpse to SMOC Executive Director Jim Cuddy, but insisted it was part of a pamphlet on illegal immigration -- not a threat.

Rizoli contacted the Daily News yesterday after the paper reported that Cuddy, in a meeting with selectmen and directors of other social service agencies, described receiving the gruesome photo.

According to four people at the meeting, Cuddy mentioned the photo as an example of the kind of anger that has been directed at SMOC and other social service providers in the last few months.

But Rizoli said the photo, which he says showed a dead body on the Mexican border, was part of a pamphlet outlining the costs of illegal immigration.  He said it was clearly written by his group, Concerned Citizens and Friends of Illegal Immigration Law Enforcement.

"We always had a problem with SMOC because we feel in some small way they aid and abet illegal aliens," he said.

Rizoli's claim could not be verified because Cuddy did not return a phone call.  Rizoli did provide a copy of the pamphlet and a color copy of the body photo.  Above the photo is written, "Who is responsible for this outrage?" below the photo states the person is dead "because of immigration laws are being ignored and as a result our country is being invaded."

Three people at Monday's meeting said yesterday that Cuddy never said the photo was was part of a pamphlet or that it was mailed by Concerned Citizens and Friends of Illegal Immigration Law Enforcement.

Each of them, including SMOC Planning Director Gerard Desilets, said they believed Cuddy was providing an example of the mean-spiritedness and hatred directed at social service agencies.

In fact, Eric Masi, director of Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, said he would have contacted police if he received the photo that Cuddy described at the meeting.

"If I had received it, I would have taken it as a threat," he said.

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