Mayor Correia Will Be Ousted Next Week [OPINION]
Fall River's mayor was arrested on Thursday by the FBI and charged with various financial crimes. Next week, he will add unemployed to his list of problems.
The city charter of Fall River allows for the City Council to remove the mayor if seven of the councilors agree that mayor is incapable of handling the job. Being indicted for defrauding members of the city he is supposed to lead on a daily basis makes the job difficult.
It is kind of impossible to appear in public when the reporters are yelling questions like:
"Mayor, when will you resign?"
"Mayor, who's money did you use to buy that Mercedes?"
"Mayor, how much money did you spend on jewelry for your girlfriend, or was that jewelry for the hookers?"
It can be distracting to a public official if he has to answer questions about how much stolen money he used to pleasure himself with "adult entertainment," as is alleged by the U.S. Attorney's office in the multiple count indictment of Mayor Correia.
According to the Herald News of Fall River, the young mayor spent Friday in city hall behind a locked door with an armed guard outside the door. Maybe he has legitimate safety concerns, or maybe he was just getting some practice for his future. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in the federal prison system.
His fate is in the hands of the city council. They are a jury of his peers (more practice), and they will decide what is good for the city of Fall River. They will also decide what is good for themselves politically.
It probably isn't a good political move to vote in favor of keeping the indicted mayor in power. Especially since he has been using his office to raise money from people doing business with the city to fund his legal bills. He received $20,000 from an out-of-state marijuana business in a single check.
The U.S. Attorney has said it is an ongoing investigation, and there could be more arrests. Meanwhile, Jasiel is cracking a smile and making jokes immediately following his arraignment in handcuffs and leg shackles on the sidewalk outside the federal courthouse. The U.S. Attorney and the FBI watch TV, and that performance was funny to me, but probably not to them.
Ken Fiola has a right to crack a smile and a joke--not Young Jasiel the Second.
The smart city councilors are asking themselves a question: "What would Jasiel do if this situation was reversed?"
Jasiel will be unemployed at some point next week.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.