Nineteenth-century British politician Lord Acton once said of power: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." How intoxicating power must be that dictators and even small city mayors would fight so hard to hang on to it.

It would seem that after two federal corruption indictments, two trips to the pokey and two trips to federal court to face arraignment, one might say, "Hey, time to step aside and put the interests of my fellow citizens ahead of my lust for power." You'd think, no? Apparently not.

For the second time in less than a year, the Fall River City Council is attempting to remove, at least temporarily. the allegedly crooked Mayor Jasiel Correia. Last fall, Correia maintained his innocence and was defiant, threatening to sue to prevent any effort to dethrone him. This time Correia is willing to negotiate to remain in control.

Council President Cliff Ponte has advised Correia that he and his colleagues intend to vote tonight to sideline him until the charges against him are resolved. Rather than defiance, Correia is showing desperation by offering to negotiate to allow Ponte to co-sign any official business documents Correia might have to sign in order to give taxpayers confidence that everything is on the up and up.

The offer has been wisely rejected by Ponte, who is insisting that Correia hand over the key to the executive washroom.

The people of Fall River have had enough of this drama and its once-promising young star and deserve a break. Mayor Correia, please do the right thing and get the hell 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 and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420