Jasiel Wins – Again [OPINION]
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia wins again against a city council hell-bent on removing him from office before his time is through.
A judge in New Bedford ruled yesterday that the council has no authority to remove Correia from office under existing conditions, even temporarily.
Supreme Court Judge Raffi Yessayan's eight-page decision says in a nutshell that the council has misinterpreted the city charter. Yessayan suggests that the council's understanding of the charter would give it broad power to remove a mayor at will for simply not doing what the council would like him to do.
For the better part of a year, the Fall River City Council has debated removing Correia from office. Members have been advised that such a move would be without precedent and would cost the City a considerable amount in legal fees and possible judgments. There was even an attempt to remove Correia through a recall election. He was recalled but re-elected on the same ballot.
I have been consistent in my opinion that the council should save time and money and just let the process play out. Correia is facing a host of federal criminal indictments and it appears likely he will go to jail. In the meantime, the voters will have a chance to remove Correia from office on November 5.
There is no crisis in Fall River. The buses are running. Schools are operating. The fire department responds when an alarm is sounded. There is no reason to push Correia out the door this close to an election.
Many Americans are disturbed that political opponents of President Trump are attempting to undo an election by forcing him from office simply because they don't like him. The story is the same in Fall River. The people elected Jasiel Correia and the people should remove him. The city council has overstepped its bounds.
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.