FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Despite Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia advancing in the city’s preliminary mayoral election Tuesday, the Fall River City Council decided Wednesday to continue its effort to legally remove him from office.
In an emergency meeting, City Council members voted to move forward with litigation against Correia, according to their attorney Lauren Goldberg.
“The council voted to proceed with litigation to enforce the September 10, 2019 emergency order,” Goldberg said following the meeting.
Earlier this month, Correia, 27, was arrested for the second time in less than a year and released on $25,000 bond. He’s facing a federal indictment that accuses him of extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana vendors who wanted to set up shop in the city.
Following the mayor’s arrest, City Council last week voted 8-1 to temporarily remove Correia from office. City Council President Cliff Ponte recently announced that he would be the acting mayor while the city council figures out the next steps in that process. However, despite the council’s vote, Correia refused to resign and showed up to office Monday.
Following a preliminary vote Tuesday night, Correia – who is seeking reelection – garnered enough votes to move on to the general election. He received 21% of the votes, while school committee member Paul Coogan received 62% of the votes. Local activist Erica Scott-Pacheco, placed last with 16% of the vote and was eliminated from the non-partisan race.
Following the election, Correia acknowledged his less-than-strong showing in the preliminary.
“We know why the numbers were the way they were tonight. We know it’s not because we haven’t done a good job. We know it’s not because the city has not moved forward. We know it’s because there has been attack, after attack, after attack,” said Correia, who has maintained his innocence.
Controversy continues to follow Correia as Target 12 Investigators learned Hildegar Camara, the man was appointed by Correia to run a Bristol County Training Consortium in July 2016, agreed to testify against him at trial, according to documents unsealed Tuesday.
Coogan and Correia are set to face off in the general election on Nov. 5.