Jasiel Correia Will Fight to Hang On [OPINION]
Did anyone think that Jasiel Correia would just accept last night's vote of the Fall River City Council to "temporarily" remove him from office while he gets his legal (expletive) together?
Before I'd taken my first sip of coffee this morning, there was a text on my phone from Correia insisting that "the vote is non-binding" and that "I look forward to continuing to do my job as mayor."
The council voted 8-1 to instruct the mayor to scram by the close of business on Friday. And to turn in the keys to the SUV and the executive washroom on the way out.
The council, by voting to remove Correia from office, has opened taxpayers to a potential lawsuit that could cost plenty. Correia warned the board last year that he would sue and likely win if they tried to give him the heave-ho. I have no reason to believe that he is bluffing.
I don't know and quite honestly at this point don't care whether Jasiel Correia is guilty or innocent. He has become a major distraction and needs to step aside. He can do so on his own and save everyone a lot of grief and a lot of money, or he can let the voters do it in Tuesday's preliminary election.
Councilor Steve Camara was correct last night when he said there is no emergency here. Camara has a solid point in that the mayor does not work for the city council, he works for the people who elected him; therefore, the council has no authority to remove him from office. I don't care how they interpret the charter – a judge just might read the situation very differently.
In the rush to de-Jasiel Government Center earlier this year, the taxpayers funded a special recall election. They voted to recall and then re-elect the kid on the same ballot. Guess that didn't work. I suspect this new effort to remove him from office will be met with about as much success and will cost the citizens a lot of cash in the process.
Everyone needs to take a chill pill and let the voters and the courts figure this thing out.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.