FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A campaign to recall embattled Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia has hit an important milestone, according to one of the organizers behind the effort.
After turning in its first batch of signatures late last week, Fall River Recall has now submitted more than the required 2,510 signatures (5 percent of registered voters) needed to trigger a recall election, organizer Joseph Pereira said Tuesday.
The petition isn’t official yet, however, since the signatures need to be certified by the city’s Board of Elections. The board will be checking the signatures against the city’s voter registrations.
According ot the city charter, should the petition be certified, it will be submitted to the City Council, who will then notify Correia. The mayor then has five days to resign but if he doesn’t, a recall election will be scheduled by the City Council.
Pereira said the group plans to keep collecting signatures to ensure the required minimum gets certified. He said they hope to collect upwards of 4,000 by Friday.
Correia, 26, was arrested by federal authorities last month on more than a dozen counts of wire fraud and filing false tax returns.
Prosecutors allege he misused $231,000 of the $363,000 he accepted from seven investors in the app company he founded in 2012, SnoOwl, while misleading them about the business.
Correia pleaded not guilty to the charges and continues to deny the allegations while repeatedly saying he will not step down as mayor.
The Fall River City Council voted no confidence in Correia last week and requested that he resign.
In a statement last month, Correia said he supports the right to petition but asked that residents show their support by not signing it. He also said that if the recall election moves forward, he hopes that voters will re-elect him.