Recall election set for Providence city councilman Kevin Jackson - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Recall election set for Providence city councilman Kevin Jackson

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By Bianca Buono

bbuono@abc6.com

@BBuonoABC6

The fate of Kevin Jackson’s spot on the  Providence City Council is now in the hands of the voters. A recall election has been scheduled for May 2nd.

The nine members of the Providence City Council who showed up to Monday’s special meeting voted unanimously to approve the recall election.

"I'm grateful that enough of my colleagues stepped forward that allowed us to comply with the city charter,” said Samuel Zurier, a city councilman.

More than 2,000 of Jackson’s Ward 3 constituents signed a petition asking for his removal and because of state guidelines, the council had to act fast to set a date for the recall election. Council President Luis Aponte didn’t call a special meeting to do that so Councilman Zurier joined four other members and forced one.

"I know that we were backed up against a deadline so we did what we thought was necessary,” Zurier said.

Jackson, a longtime councilman, came under fire last year after he was indicted for allegedly embezzling more than $120,000 from a youth sports non-profit he founded called the Cobras.

He’s also accused of violating the state’s campaign finance law.

"What he's been accused of is something we've been trying to root out from the city for a very long time. There is no place for corruption,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza.

Jackson, who wasn’t at Monday’s special meeting, did step down as majority leader of the council when he was charged, but he’s refusing to give up his seat.

"I've always said and maintained that that is his decision to make and I'm not going to urge him in one direction or another,” said Providence City Council President Luis Aponte.

ABC6 did reach Jackson’s attorney by phone who said the councilman will not be commenting on today’s decision.

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