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Correia’s reelection certified after judge denies legal challenge

Politics

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Jasiel Correia is officially the mayor of Fall River after the results of a special election that saw him recalled then re-elected were certified.

The city’s Board of Election Commissioners had to wait until 5 p.m. Friday to make the results official, which they said was done so without issue.

“He feels the same way I do,” the city’s attorney, Joseph Macy, said of Correia. “He was very gratified. Interested in moving on. Has always been interested in moving on.”

Earlier in the day, a Superior Court judge ruled against a group of voters who sought to prevent the results from being certified on the grounds that the recall election violated the rules of the city charter.

“I’m not disappointed,” one of its members, CJ Ferry, said after the ruling came down. “The decision by the court could have gone either way. We just wanted the judge’s decision and we got it.”

Ferry and the rest of the group, Ten Citizens of Fall River, say the legal challenge was not about Correia specifically but rather the entire process, which they believe to be flawed. 

In the first ballot question, 61 percent of voters elected to recall Correia. The second question presented voters with five candidates – including Correia – to replace the mayor should he be recalled. Correia received 35 percent of the vote, edging challenger Paul Coogan, who earned 33 percent.

Macy said the validity of the election is not an issue and he believes the group was just upset with the outcome.

“I don’t think there’s a flaw in the charter because I think the way the judge interpreted it is the way it reads,” Macy added. “Everybody can run and whoever gets the most votes wins.”

The recall election was prompted by Correia’s arrest last October. He faces more than a dozen counts of wire fraud and filing false tax returns.

Federal prosecutors allege Correia misused $231,000 of the $363,000 he accepted from seven investors into SnoOwl, the app company he founded in 2012, while misleading them about the business. The mayor has repeatedly denied all the charges against him.

Regardless of the outcome, voters will head back to the polls in the fall for the next mayoral election.

Ferry said he hasn’t yet spoken to all nine other members of the group, so he’s not sure if they’ll pursue another legal avenue to dispute the city charter.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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