Mayor Correia Replies to Council President’s Request to Step Down
FALL RIVER — Mayor Jasiel Correia is fighting a multi-front war for not only his political life, but life as a free citizen as well.
While the 27-year-old embattled mayor’s troubles continue with another federal indictment handed down on Friday, Correia is fighting to keep his executive power as an exasperated City Council looks to temporarily remove him from office.
City Council President Cliff Ponte penned a letter to Correia Monday night, stating that he defended Correia’s decision to stay on the job after the SnoOwl charges because the alleged crimes took place before he was mayor. Following the second arrest on completely new charges, Ponte says “the additional 11 indictments brought forth on Friday are directly related to your role as Mayor, as you have utilized the power of your position for personal monetary gain through several alleged schemes, 3 of which are outright theft of City funds.”
Correia is already is facing a 13-count indictment from his arrest last October related to his app company SnoOwl. He was arrested again last Friday on 11 additional charges, including charges that he allegedly used his position as mayor to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana retailers looking to set up shop in Fall River.
Ponte asks Correia in the letter to “do what is best for Fall River and temporarily step aside,” and says he will call for the City Council to vote tomorrow night whether or not the mayor is able to continue to perform the duties of his office.
Correia responded to Ponte Monday night, writing a letter in return stating his support of the Council President and Vice-President “co-signing” city business and reviewing actions of the mayor’s office.
Correia posted a picture of the letter to Facebook, saying in a caption “I encourage the council to remain focused on getting city business done for the citizens of Fall River. Today I spoke with the President and provided the cooperative suggestion that he or the VP “co-sign” and review city business on a voluntary basis.”
“To the extent that the City Council has concerns regarding transparency and official government business, I believe it is important to the Council to participate in reviewing official mayoral actions. In order to continue to provide an open and transparent government for the benefit of our citizens and the city, I welcome collaboration and careful review to ensure the Council is comfortable performing their duties regarding city business and votes,” Correia wrote.
“I would like to extend the offer that in the immediate future and on a voluntary basis, the City Council President or Vice-President have the opportunity to “co-sign” official documents as an additional level of comfort for the Council. As City Council President, this affords you to assure the public that all city business is being reviewed, approved and conducted in accordance with local ordinances and state and federal requirements. It is important that city business continues and maintains stability to the best of our abilities.”
The City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.