FALL RIVER, Mass. (CBS/ AP) — A defiant mayor of Fall River said Monday the only way he’s leaving office is if the voters vote him out. Jasiel Correia is facing two federal indictments and last week, the city council voted to temporarily remove him from office.
He has refused to leave, saying the council lacks the authority.
“To actually remove the mayor by a vote of eight people and override the entire citizens’ ability and right to vote at the ballot box, I think is not going to stand in any court of law,” Correia said.
In Oct. 2018, he was arrested for allegedly stealing investors’ money, meant for an app he developed called Sno Owl.
Just over a week ago, the US Attorney indicted Correia again, this time saying the 27-year-old mayor extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from would-be marijuana retailers trying to set up businesses in Fall River.
He has pleaded not guilty both times. “It’s totally allegations cooked up by people who are criminals themselves, people who are cutting deals with the federal government,” Correia said.
Fall River voters on Tuesday will cast ballots in a preliminary election meant to decide which two mayoral candidates will go on the Nov. 5 ballot.
The three candidates vying for the office are Paul Coogan, Erica Scott-Pacheco and incumbent Mayor Jasiel Correia. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close 8 p.m.
“I voted for him the first time, I voted for him on the recall, but I will not vote for him again,” one Fall River woman told WBZ-TV.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)