Fall River City Council asks court to enforce embattled mayor’s removal from office

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The Fall River City Council has filed a complaint in Bristol County Superior Court, asking a judge to enforce their removal of embattled Mayor Jasiel Correia from office.

Last week, the council had voted 8-1 to temporarily remove Correia, 27, after he was indicted and arrested for allegedly extorting thousands from marijuana vendors who wanted approval to begin selling in the city.

The council’s lawyer, Lauren Goldberg, said Tuesday they also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to require the mayor to obey the order and relinquish mayoral duties until a full hearing can be held.

The enforcement complaint and injunction are now set to be heard by a judge in New Bedford Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. The day after that, Correia is slated to face a judge at federal court in Boston for a formal arraignment on the extortion charges.

Correia is acting in “complete disregard for the best interests of the City and its residents,” Goldberg said in a statement, saying the council has given the mayor opportunity to transfer power smoothly, but he has not tried to strike a “reasonable” agreement for a plan to go forward.

The mayor has pleaded not guilty to the federal extortion charges. He has also repeatedly refused to resign.

Correia is being challenged by school committee member Paul Coogan in the mayoral election on Nov. 5.

It’s the second time in less than a year Correia was federally charged. He was arrested on federal fraud charges in October 2018 connected to his startup mobile app company SnoOwl, which is now defunct. A trial on those charges has been set for February.

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