Mayor Correia Could Have Bail Revoked After Ouster [OPINION]
When, not if, the Fall River City Council votes to remove their indicted mayor, he will be in violation of his bail conditions.
According to the investigative journalists at WPRI-12 in Rhode Island, Mayor Jasiel Correia II is required to "stay employed" as a condition of his bail. He is employed as the mayor of Fall River.
He used to work for a company called SnoOwl, but that didn't work out. For more information on SnoOwl, you should read the federal indictment that was unsealed on Thursday morning. That was the same day the FBI arrested the young mayor, and the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts held a press conference laying out more than a dozen charges related to the looting of SnoOwl funds by Mayor Correia.
Young Jasiel the Second is facing up to 20 years in federal prison, along with fines and asset forfeiture if he is convicted in federal court. The federal courts find defendants guilt more than 90 percent of the time these days. Keep in mind, he is innocent until proven guilty in court.
The charter of the City of Fall River allows for the City Council to remove a mayor if a super-majority (seven of nine) of the body finds the mayor is incapable of performing the responsibilities of the office. The City Council has a special meeting set to discuss the matter of the indicted mayor next Tuesday.
Why would any of the councilors vote to keep the mayor in his position? Politics are about self-preservation above all else. You have to stay in office if you want to make a difference. Plus with Correia gone, there is an opportunity for some of the City Councilors to take a run at becoming mayor. Voting for Correia to stay in power is full of hazards and has no upside, even if the young man is acquitted. He has less than a 10 percent chance of beating this case, according to statistics.
So the moment the City Council votes to remove the mayor, he becomes unemployed. Being unemployed is a violation of his bail, and opens him up to be taken into federal custody and imprisoned. Kevin Reddington is a world-class defense attorney and he might be able to reason with the court, but it might take a few days before Jasiel is released if his bail is revoked.
The wild press conference Jasiel gave moments after he was released from the handcuffs and leg shackles likely didn't win him any supporters at the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston. He called the charges "bogus" after opening up with a joke and giving the reporters a double thumbs up, like a millennial version of Richard Nixon on the sidewalk outside the federal court.
Nobody likes to get fired from their job. But it stings a whole lot more if getting fired also results in moving to the federal wing of the Plymouth County House of Correction. On second thought, maybe he can get his old job back at SnoOwl.
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.