Free on bail, Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia back on job

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia had nothing to say as he walked into Government Center Monday morning.

Only Eyewitness News was there as Correia returned to work days after he was arraigned on federal extortion charges. He was released on $25,000 bond after pleading not guilty at the Friday court proceeding in Boston.

Update: Fall River City Council will vote on removing mayor

Court records show Correia paid the $25,000 bond Monday afternoon, which will keep the mayor free pending trial.

According to an indictment, Correia is accused of trying to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana vendors seeking to set up shop in the city.

During a news conference Friday, Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters Correia “has essentially run that town as a pay-to-play institution.”

“If the allegations in [Friday’s] indictment are true, Mayor Correia has engaged in an outrageous, brazen campaign of corruption which turned his job into a personal ATM,” Lelling said.

Correia — who is currently running for re-election — told Eyewitness News Friday that he has no plans to retire.

No matter what happens with the mayor’s criminal case, the Board of Elections said Correia’s name will appear on the ballot for the Sept. 17 preliminary election. He faces two opponents, Paul Coogan and Erica Scott-Pacheco.

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