Judges Should Care About Election Results [OPINION]
The city of Fall River has had too many mayors and even more chaos than any municipality should endure. But a judge won't help the situation.
The Fall River City Council has voted to remove the mayor and it is going to end up in front of a judge.
The current mayor of Fall River has been indicted by the United States Justice Department and he has been arrested twice. The first indictment was based on his alleged behavior before he was elected mayor. The second group of charges, leveled by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, involves alleged behavior that directly involves opportunities for criminal profit based on Mayor Jasiel Correia II's official position.
The federal government's latest charges could only have taken place because the defendant, Mayor Correia, had the trust of the voters and the power of the office they awarded him, to bestow the special privilege of selling marijuana within the city's limits. The Justice Department alleges he betrayed the trust of the voters and personally profited from bribes related to the marijuana industry.
The people of Fall River had an opportunity to remove Mayor Correia after his first indictment, but they didn't. They recalled him and then reelected him on the same ballot. The folks of Fall River re-elected an indicted mayor.
Now there is another arrest and another election in Fall River. The people who bother to show up to vote will have to choose between three candidates, including the incumbent mayor. The two top vote-getters will advance to the November ballot and then the final decision will be made for who will be the mayor.
If Mayor Correia wins the primary or comes in a close second, a judge should pay attention to the results. If Mayor Correia is overwhelmingly rejected by the voters, a judge should pay attention to the results.
Fall River has serious political problems and having a judge reject the will of the voters, regardless of that judgment, will only add to the civil unrest in the city.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.