Correia’s Arrest Leaves Fall River Staggering [OPINION]
The arrest of Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia on federal corruption charges on Thursday is another huge blow for a city trying to recover from never-ending economic and political crises.
Following the national financial crisis of 2008 that resulted in tough budgetary decisions locally former Mayor Bob Correia was whisked out of office after only one term. Will Flanagan was elected to three terms, but was removed in a recall election halfway through the third term.
Voters then elected former District Attorney Sam Sutter to complete Flanagan's term. But he was ousted after only nine months, and Jasiel Correia was elected. Allegations of impropriety dogged Correia from the start, but he was re-elected last fall despite claims that he was under federal investigation.
Should Correia resign from office, City Council President Cliff Ponte would become acting mayor. Ponte tells me he is at Government Center attempting to "get my feet grounded."
I've known Jasiel Correia for some time. I like him. I will not try to determine his guilt or innocence, but will leave that up to a jury. If Correia is found to be guilty, than he must pay the price for his crimes.
Correia appeared on my program in the Spring on 2017 when it was first reported that he was under investigation for corruption. In the fall of last year, he returned to further defend himself against what he claimed were bogus charges.
Listen to that September 7, 2017 interview again for any hints of Correia's guilt or innocence and let us know what you think:
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.