Officials call on Correia to resign following newest indictment
By: Brittany Comak
FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) - Many in Fall River joining the chorus of people asking Mayor Jasiel Correia to resign, after the newest allegations of extortion and bribery came out against him Friday.
Among the charges are allegations that he extorted thousands of dollars from potential marijuana vendors in the city.
"It's a sad day for everybody involved," said City Councilor Stephen Long. "It's just - I don't know what to say to be honest with you."
Today, many officials confirmed rumors had been swirling for some time now that Correia had been operating a 'pay to play' system for these vendors
"Some critics of Jasiel Correia have said that there's a black cloud over Fall River," said Mayoral Candidate Erica Scott-Pacheco. "I have said said that there's a green cloud of marijuana money, and now that is exactly what's in this indictment today."
City councilors say there's not much action they can take, but did not rule out entertaining a resolution in the future related to removing Correia from office.
Joseph Pereira, who originally organized the recall election earlier this year, said it wouldn't make sense to do so again so close to the primary election, which is in less than two weeks.
"You want to have some community pride, and you sit back and go, 'God, the only reason people know we exist is Lizzie Borden, and the fact that our mayor keeps getting arrested,'" said Pereira.
The only option many see, that they say would serve the community best, is for Correia to resign.
Frank Marchione, a representative with Bristol County Economic Development, tells ABC 6 that the optics of this will likely make it hard to bring new business into the city.
"We're going to do everything we can to distance ourselves from, let's call it a very inexperienced and quite frankly a hubris individual who did not do the right thing for the city," said Marchione.
Meanwhile, members of the city council also renewing their calls for him to resign Friday.
"We've been here before and we will get through it as a community," said City Council President Cliff Ponte.
So far, Correia has not made any indication that he will leave office.
"If he stays it's going to be very, very difficult to accomplish our goals," said Long.
Correia is still on the ballot for the primary election on September 17, against Erica Scott-Pacheco and Paul Coogan.
WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019