The press is hyperventilating over the fact that Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia took a quick long-weekend jaunt to Vegas without notifying anyone in the media or at Government Center of his plans.

Well, guess what? He doesn't have to.

Correia, who faces a federal corruption indictment, is awaiting trial. And while he is not allowed to leave the country, he is quite free to move around the lower 48 as he sees fit. He is also entitled to vacation time. The only person Correia is required to notify before he leaves town is his probation officer, who had enough sense to tell the Fall River Herald News to pound tar when it inquired as to whether the mayor had done so.

The suggestive Herald News piece on Correia's absence burst open with the kind of urgency generally reserved for hit pieces on Donald Trump.

"While the city and school department struggle to present a balanced budget to the City Council for approval in less than two weeks, Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II was playing his own numbers games in Las Vegas over a long weekend respite," wrote Herald News reporter Jo Goode.

Jasiel Correia is Fall River's Donald Trump. Even as Correia has walked Fall River's economy back from a cliff, while boosting public safety and education spending and keeping promises to dump trash fees, he is constantly slammed by an unrelenting press and political opponents hellbent on removing him from office before he has been convicted of anything.

Correia, a Democrat, has been abandoned by his party on both the state and federal level and has been hung out to dry by many of the same people who supported him and were supported by him. Just like Trump. I've suggested that Correia drop the Democrats like a bad habit, something he told me he is actually considering.

Bottom line is Correia was completely within his authority and the law to skip out of Dodge for a little R&R over the weekend without notifying members of the Council or the press. The Herald News acknowledged that in its story but continued to create an unnecessary drama just the same. Hey, just like Trump.

Hope you made a lot of money at the blackjack table, Mr. Mayor!

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 and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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