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Budget Commission weighs in on pawn shop brouhaha

December 13, 2012

WOONSOCKET — The Budget Commission yesterday instructed Police Chief Thomas Carey to see whether a Fall River-based pawnbroker ran afoul of any laws at a shop in Danvers, Mass., before it decides whether to consider granting the company a license to do business here.
Vincent Mesolella Jr. appealed to the commission after the City Council rejected Spindle City Pawnbrokers’ application for a second-hand dealer’s license last week.
Although he made it clear he’s not a lawyer, Mesolella told the board he believes the budget commission has the legal authority to reverse the city council’s controversial decision.
“In order to avoid a protracted and costly potential legal challenge...it is a budgetary issue,” Mesolella said. “It would involve a significant expenditure to defend this litigation.”
Daniel Baldelli, owner of the Gold Loan Company, the city’s only other pawnbroker, has emerged as a vocal opponent of Spindle City, which operates about a dozen shops in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Citing Spindle City’s record at other locations, however, he contends the chief operator of the chain, Aaron Tetrault, is not a suitable candidate for a license as defined under state law.
Baldelli and his lawyer, Michael Lepizzera, attended yesterday’s commission meeting, but they did not address the panel. After the hearing, however, Lepizzera applauded the commission’s decision to conduct a more thorough investigation, but he said he would challenge any effort by the commission to reverse the City Council’s ruling.

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