FALL RIVER (CBS/AP) – Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, who is facing 24 federal counts of extortion, will take a leave of absence and suspend his re-election campaign. Sources told WBZ-TV that Correia will formally make the announcement Tuesday afternoon.
The 27-year-old is accused of asking potential marijuana store owners for cash to do business in the city.
Correia was also arrested for allegedly defrauding investors in a smartphone app he developed. He has refused to step down and survived a recall election earlier this year.
He has called the charges “politically motivated.”
Last week, a judge denied the City Council’s request for an order that would temporarily oust Correia from office.
The council voted last month to remove Correia, who has pleaded not guilty to the federal extortion and fraud charges.
The judge ruled the city charter allows the council to remove a mayor who has been convicted of a felony, but not a mayor who has only been charged with one.
Correia is scheduled to make the announcement Tuesday at the site of the new Durfee High School.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)