Another Day, Another Wild Mayor Correia Presser [OPINION]
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia gave a tremendous press conference today. The more I see of this young man, the more he strikes me as a special kind of politician.
Last week, the mayor was arrested at 6:30 a.m. by the FBI and taken to the federal court in Boston, where he was arraigned on multiple financial crimes. While wearing handcuffs and leg irons, he was informed that he was facing over 20 years in federal prison.
Immediately after the arraignment, he changed into a suit and tie and strutted out of the courthouse with his lawyers. He was all smiles and waving and giving a double thumbs up like a millennial version of Richard Nixon. He walked up to the microphones and actually made a joke: "This isn't my best Thursday!"
He then declared the charges were phony and he was going back to work as the mayor of the city he loves. He acted as if the question of his resignation was the craziest thing he had ever heard. He didn't do anything wrong, and he wasn't charged with anything related to his time as mayor was his basic point.
I was stunned and impressed with his act on the sidewalk outside the federal courthouse. What 26-year-old person can go from FBI prisoner to Jerry Seinfeld in minutes?
Today's press conference was just as fascinating as the one last week. He faces a vote by the Fall River City Council to remove him from the office of mayor tonight. His press conference was designed to tear apart the charges by the U.S. Attorney, build up the morale of his supporters, and to influence a few members of the city council to stay with him a little longer.
At the center of the charges is his former company SnoOwl and what he did with the investors' money. He wisely avoided that matter. Instead, he focused on how great the SnoOwl app for smartphones really is--or was, at least.
Halfway through his presentation, I began to think I should get in on this opportunity to invest in SnoOwl. This is a fantastic product and I would be crazy to not jump on this. I understand why those investors believed in Jasiel, and why the people of Fall River voted him into office.
But he wasn't pitching the app to any investors today, although I bet he would take on the burden of new investors if you asked him.
He also made the case that the US Attorney's office is somehow under the influence of his local political enemies. Those enemies are so jealous of his abilities and accomplishments that they were able to get the Justice Department to take him out with phony charges. He pointed out that he beat a former Bristol County District Attorney to become mayor. That line was designed to make the less informed think the former District Attorney has some ability to control the U.S. Attorney.
Keep in mind this investigation started in the Obama Justice Department and continued in the Trump Justice Department. The desire to destroy Young Jasiel the Second is a bipartisan attack on Fall River. He went so far as to blame the FBI and the investigation for hurting SnoOwl's ability to be a profitable company. The U.S Attorney, not Jasiel, is responsible for the loss of the investors' money, if you follow his logic.
He did lots to damage to himself and his defense when he eventually goes to trial, but he may have picked up the three votes he needs in the city council to keep calling himself "The Mayor" for the time being.
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.