Judge rules against injunction, recall election results certified

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) — A last desperate attempt to get Mayor Correia out of office coming up short. A judge ruling the way the charter is written legally allows Correia to be recalled and reelected on the same ballot.

The judge’s decision made it official; Mayor Jasiel Correia gets to keep his job for now. The people who filed the lawsuit are not necessarily surprised by the ruling but say it points to a bigger issue with the city’s charter.

A denial from a superior court judge gave the Board of Elections the green light to certify the recall, reelection results.

“I’m neither disappointed nor am I surprised,” says CJ Ferry, one of the people on the lawsuit. He and 9 others filed an injunction asking the judge to decertify the election.

Mayor Correia called it “sour grapes,” but they say he never should’ve been an option on the second part of the ballot.

“The 10 people who filed this lawsuit, except for 1, had nothing to do with the recall. This was about the process and that was proven to be faulty yesterday,” says Ferry.

It’s a bit of déjà vu for the city. The charter was changed after the 2014 recall involving Mayor Flanagan. The wording explicitly allowing the subject of a recall to be reelected was removed but nothing banning it was added in its place. The judge used that reasoning to side with the city and the mayor.

“His reaction is exactly the same as mine, he’s gratified by the court’s decision,” says Corporation Counsel Joseph Macy.

All parties involved can agree the charter is flawed, although it can’t be changed for another 5 years.

The next election for mayor is in November.

“Read, research and know what you’re voting for, that is what got us into this position, people did not research the charter they just blindly voted for it because someone said to vote for it. The sad part about Fall River is that, I always say this, a vote can be bought with a chow mein sandwich,” says Ferry.

There’s not much more the group on the lawsuit can do but they’re hopeful the 61 percent of people who voted to recall Correia will show up at the polls so he doesn’t make it past the primary.

© WLNE/ABC 6 2019