Jasiel Correia Would Lose City Council Lawsuit [OPINION]
Some people are concerned that the Fall River City Council did not have the right to temporarily remove the extremely troubled Jasiel Correia as Fall River's mayor last night, but they did.
In an 8-1 vote (Steven A Camara once again the dissenting vote), Correia was voted down temporarily (for now) and has until Friday afternoon to leave office.
The Council used Home Rule Charter Article 3, Section 3-8 which says, ‘The city council by the affirmative vote of 7 members, shall determine whether the mayor is unable to perform the duties of the office whether by sickness or other cause. The vote shall take place in public session by a roll call vote.'
The "other cause" here being that the mayor is accused by federal authorities of using the mayor's office to stage ways to commit serious crimes which are piling up by the week. The city council, in my opinion, has properly exercised this rule and is protecting the city by doing so. Yet Councilor Stephen A. Camara is trying to block them!
Granted, the "other cause" in Article 3 is loose language but will very likely find any court siding with the plaintiff under this scenario. A counterpoint that the language should be more specific would probably be moot and would, at best, influence the rule to be amended to be more specific in the allowable causes in the future.
I dare say that there is not a judge in Bristol County or in a higher court in Massachusetts that would see this differently than that the council has had no choice but to enact this Article.
The environment at City Hall in Fall River is untenable. A seated Mayor Correia (until his trial) is senseless.
Besides, if you listen to him, Jasiel loves Fall River. He would never sue! What, and take away the funds for kids' school programs? Keep several firefighters and/or police officers home and unable to serve? You supporters of Correia – all 47 of you who remain – really think he would take away money from the City of Fall River while potholes are left unfilled? Say it ain't so!
Anyone thinking clearly would agree that Jasiel Correia isn't fit to lead the city, if the feds are right. And even if he escapes all 24 federal counts piling up on him, his national news arrests, arraignments and press conferences are shaming the city until this day in court arrives.
It seems clear to me and probably 99.1 percent of the region that Correia is likely using the office to gather monies for the coming storm and, before that need, for living a lifestyle he could not otherwise afford to live, according to the feds.
It is sad to see such a young, promising life unravel in such sensational fashion. He'd accomplished more by 27 than most of us have accomplished by 50. And in the same blinding speed, it is crashing and burning as the Justice Department, with entire weight of the United States government resources, drags him away to face a 41-page indictment with 24 separate crimes.
And at the end of the day, there is the second spectacle here: the problematic Stephen A. Camara who is the sole city councilor left alone in the council chambers with his pom-poms, chanting, "Give me a 'J,' give me an 'A,' give me an 'S-I-E' – hey, where'd everybody go?"
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@