Jasiel Correia

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Jasiel Correia
44th Mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts
Assumed office
January 4, 2016
Preceded bySam Sutter
Succeeded byPaul Coogan (mayor-elect)
Fall River City Council
In office
January 6, 2014 – January 2016
Personal details
Born (1991-12-11) December 11, 1991 (age 27)[1]
Fall River, Massachusetts
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materProvidence College

Jasiel F. Correia II (born December 11, 1991) is an American politician and a member of the Democratic Party, serving as the mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts. He has been arrested twice, on charges related to fraud and extortion, while in office. Defeated in the November 2019 mayoral election, his term is due to expire in January 2020.

Political career[edit]

In 2013, Correia ran for a seat on the Fall River City Council, placing 10th in a field of 18, where the top nine finishers are elected. Prior to the start of the next term, Councilor-elect Cathy Ann Viveiros accepted an appointment as City Administrator from Mayor William A. Flanagan, creating a vacancy on the City Council. Correia filled the vacancy on January 6, 2014, the regular inauguration date, due to being the next-highest finisher in the previous election.[2]

In November 2015, Correia become the youngest person (at age 23) to be elected mayor of Fall River; defeating incumbent mayor Sam Sutter with almost 52% of the vote.[3] He took office in January 2016, becoming the city's 44th mayor. In November 2017, Correia was elected to a second term as mayor against City Councilor Linda M. Pereira with 61% of the vote.[4]

October 2018 arrest[edit]

On October 11, 2018, Correia was arrested and charged with wire fraud amounting to $231,000, and filing false tax returns.[5] The charges against Correia accuse him of using funds from his company, SnoOwl, "as his own personal ATM" in defrauding investors.[5] He denied the charges and said that he would not resign as mayor.[6] In February 2019, Correia made an offer to reimburse seven investors in his company a total of $306,000; the offer was withdrawn the following month.[7]

Recall and re-election[edit]

In early November 2018, the Fall River City Council called upon Correia to resign.[8] On December 18, the City Council voted to give Correia five business days to resign, else face a recall election.[9] On December 26, Correia said that he would not resign; the City Council met on January 2, 2019, and set March 12, 2019, as the date for the recall election.[10][11]

Under the recall provision in Fall River's city charter, an official subject to a recall election has the option to obtain and file nomination papers to be a candidate on the ballot and potentially succeed themselves in the event of a successful recall. Nomination papers became available to candidates on January 4, 2019, and Correia obtained these papers on the same day. Correia and four other candidates submitted nomination papers with at least 300 signatures by January 22,[12] as the first step in appearing on the ballot, with the Board of Elections certifying submitted signatures.[13]

A candidates' debate held in late February featured Correia and four challengers,[14] all five of whom appeared on the March 12 ballot.[15] On the ballot, voters were first asked if Correia should be recalled; a majority voted for his recall,[16] 7,829 to 4,911 (61%).[17] Voters were next asked to chose from the five candidates; Correia received the most votes,[16] 4,808 (35%).[17] The second-place finisher had 4,567 votes (33%), and the remaining three candidates had a combined 4,171 votes (30%).[17] Thus, while voters recalled Correia, they also re-elected Correia to succeed himself. He is entitled to serve the remainder of his original term, which runs until January 2020, with the next biennial election slated for November 2019.[17]

On March 19, ten voters in Fall River filed a lawsuit to block certification of the election result, asserting that the ballot used on March 12 violated the city charter, and that Correia was ineligible to run for re-election.[18][19] On March 22, a Superior Court judge denied the request for preliminary injunction, stating that the city charter, revised in 2017, did not expressly prohibit a recalled official from succeeding themselves.[20]

September 2019 arrest[edit]

On September 6, 2019, Correia was arrested by the FBI for allegedly extorting cannabis vendors and a building owner for payments totaling $600,000 and items such as a "Batman" Rolex watch.[21] The 11 new charges included extortion conspiracy, extortion aiding and abetting, and bribery. Four other people, including Correia's former chief of staff, Genoveva Andrade, were also arrested.[22] On September 9, the president of the Fall River City Council asked Correia to resign.[23] On September 10, the Fall River City Council voted to relieve Correia of his duties, giving him until 5 p.m. local time on September 13 to vacate his office.[24] On September 11, Correia stated that he would continue serving as mayor, claiming that the City Council's vote is non-binding without his signature.[25] On September 18, the City Council voted to take legal action to remove Correia from office.[26] On October 10, a Bristol County Superior Court judge denied the attempt, ruling that the power to remove a mayor "is reserved for the citizens of Fall River" via a recall election.[27]

November 2019 mayoral election[edit]

In the Fall River mayoral preliminary election held on September 17, 2019, Correia was one of the top two finishers in a field of three candidates, which secured him a spot on the ballot for the November general election.[28]

In late September, Correia stated to supporters that he could not defeat Coogan in a head-to-head election, but that a write-in candidate could make the election "a multi-person race like the recall."[29] On October 15, Correia announced he was taking a “temporary absence” as mayor, with the city council president taking over “fiscal responsibilities”.[30] While Correia also suspended his campaign for re-election as mayor, his name still appeared on the general election ballot.[31] On October 16, the city administrator of Fall River, Cathy Ann Viveiros, announced a write-in campaign for mayor.[32]

In the general election held on November 5, Correia finished third, drawing fewer votes than the winner, Paul Coogan, and write-ins.[33]

Candidates Preliminary Election[34] General Election[33][35]
Votes % Votes %
Paul Coogan 8,273 62.30 10,653 79.43
Jasiel Correia 2,777 20.91 1,002 7.47
Erica Scott-Pacheco 2,171 16.35  
write-ins 59 0.44 1,756 13.09
blanks 30 n/a 635 n/a

Personal life[edit]

Correia's parents immigrated to Fall River when they were children. His father is from Cape Verde and his mother is from the Azores.[36] He is not related to the city's 41st mayor, Robert Correia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jasiel Correia II: Candidate for Fall River City Council". The Herald News. September 17, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  2. ^ Richmond, Will. "Mayor not keen on reminiscing during inaugural address - After a rocky December, Flanagan vows to press on." The Herald News, Fall River, MA. Accessed 27 Jan. 2019.
  3. ^ "Fall River elects its youngest-ever mayor".
  4. ^ Staff, Herald News. "Fall River City Election results 2017". The Herald News, Fall River, MA. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  5. ^ a b Farzan, Antonia Noori (October 12, 2018). "Elected mayor at 23 in struggling Fall River, Jasiel Correia had the makings of a rising star". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 13, 2018 – via Boston.com.
  6. ^ Crimaldi, Laura; MacQuarrie, Brian (October 11, 2018). "Fall River mayor says he's innocent of fraud charges, won't be resigning". The Boston Globe.
  7. ^ Sweet, Laurel J. (March 6, 2019). "Fall River mayor withdraws $306,000 offer to repay defrauded app investors". Boston Herald. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  8. ^ Szaniszlo, Marie (November 8, 2018). "Fall River council votes no confidence in mayor". Boston Herald. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  9. ^ "Fall River mayor given 5 days to quit or face recall". Boston.com. AP. December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  10. ^ Stout, Matt (December 26, 2018). "Fall River mayor says he won't resign, setting up recall election". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  11. ^ Goode, Jo C. "Fall River City Council sets March 12 date for Correia recall election". The Herald News, Fall River, MA. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  12. ^ Goode, Jo C. "Fall River recall election already five candidates deep; one is the mayor". The Herald News, Fall River, MA. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  13. ^ "The final five: Camara, Coogan, Correia, Riley, Scott-Pacheco - News - The Herald News, Fall River, MA - Fall River, MA". web.archive.org. 2019-01-24. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  14. ^ Fraga, Brian (March 1, 2019). "Five takeaways from Fall River's first recall election debate". fallriverreporter.com. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  15. ^ "Mayoral Recall Election Ballot Info". frcmedianews.org. March 5, 2019. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Embattled Fall River mayor re-elected". Boston Herald. AP. March 12, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d Crimaldi, Laura (March 13, 2019). "Correia remains Fall River mayor in election stunner". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  18. ^ Crimaldi, Laura (March 19, 2019). "Fall River's controversial mayor delivers his State of the City address". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  19. ^ Crimaldi, Laura (March 21, 2019). "Judge pledges he'll rule soon in battle over Fall River election results". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  20. ^ Burke, Amanda (March 22, 2019). "Group loses bid to deny Correia recall victory, but promises another fight". The Herald News. Fall River, Massachusetts. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  21. ^ Hanson, Melissa (September 6, 2019). "Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia arrested, accused of extorting marijuana vendors for cash". masslive.com. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  22. ^ Andersen, Travis (September 6, 2019). "Fall River mayor arrested for allegedly extorting marijuana vendors". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  23. ^ "Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia Faces Removal By City Council". WBZ-TV. AP. September 10, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  24. ^ McDonald, Danny; Wu, Sarah (September 10, 2019). "Fall River council votes to relieve embattled mayor of his duties". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  25. ^ Goode, Jo C. (September 11, 2019). "Not backing down: Mayor Correia back at work after City Council vote to remove him from office". The Herald News. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  26. ^ Kennedy, Danielle (September 18, 2019). "City Council to file litigation against Correia in effort to remove him from office". turnto10.com. WJAR. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  27. ^ Herz, Mark (October 10, 2019). "Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia Survives City Council's Effort To Oust Him". WGBH-TV. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  28. ^ Gans, Felicia (September 17, 2019). "Fall River mayor wins slot on reelection ballot after arrest for alleged extortion". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  29. ^ Goode, Jo C. (September 30, 2019). "Correia's leaked write-in campaign strategy troubles his political rivals". The Herald News. Fall River, Massachusetts. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  30. ^ Goode, Jo C. (October 15, 2019). "Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia officially announces 'temporary absence'". The Herald News. Fall River, Massachusetts. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  31. ^ Levenson, Michael (October 14, 2019). "Fall River mayor plans to take a leave of absence and suspend campaign". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  32. ^ "Cathy Ann Viveiros announces mayoral run Wednesday". fallriverreporter.com. October 16, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  33. ^ a b "Coogan sails to easy victory in Fall River mayoral race". The Herald News. Fall River, Massachusetts. November 5, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  34. ^ "Live results from election night in Fall River: Coogan, Correia to face off in November". The Herald News. Fall River, Massachusetts. September 17, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  35. ^ @PhilDevittEdits (November 5, 2019). "Coogan wins with 79.43% of vote" (Tweet). Retrieved November 6, 2019 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ "Fall River's New Young Mayor Hopes Fresh Ideas Can Solve City's Old Problems".

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