FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A federal judge on Monday granted disgraced former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia a seventh delay in his prison reporting date, but denied his request to remain out on bail indefinitely as he pursues an appeal of his corruption conviction.
Correia had been scheduled to report to federal prison on Tuesday, but U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock pushed that date back to later in the month, on April 22.
Woodlock linked the latest delay to his simultaneous ruling against Correia on an effort to stay out of prison while seeking to overturn his conviction. Woodlock said the delay to April 22 would give Correia “a reasonable period” to see if the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees with Woodlock on that ruling.
He indicated this was final time he would be delaying the prison date, though it could conceivably be delayed again by the appeals court.
Woodlock suggested Correia’s lawyers could file their appeal to the 1st Circuit by next Monday, giving both sides in the case time to present their arguments before April 22.
Correia stands convicted of 11 counts of fraud, extortion and conspiracy following his trial last year, where the jury found that he defrauded investors in his tech app SnoOwl and shook down marijuana vendors for bribes while he was mayor.
The jury convicted him of 21 total counts, but Woodlock later tossed out 10 counts based on technicalities in the law, a decision the judge said did not affect the length of the former mayor’s sentence.
Correia was sentenced to six years in prison, and he’s still required to pay restitution to the victims in the dismissed counts. He served as Fall River’s mayor from 2016 to 2020.
Federal prosecutors and at least one of Correia’s victims, Stephen Miller, have expressed frustration that the former mayor remains out of prison more than six months after his sentencing. Woodlock acknowledged that frustration in a footnote included in his order Monday, but defended his actions.
“I recognize that the orderly process of considering a request for bail pending appeal can be particularly frustrating to lay members of the public, especially those entitled to restitution as victims of the defendant’s relevant fraudulent conduct,” Woodlock wrote. The judge alluded to what he termed “overwrought characterizations” about the delays, quoting a scathing email he received from Miller.
“With all due respect to those views and the frustration which gives rise to them, I must maintain the position that this defendant, as with any defendant, is entitled to the full scope of the due process rights federal law provides and a reasonable time in which to exercise those rights,” Woodlock wrote.
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