By: Brittany Comak

Twitter: @BComakABC6

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) – After the City Council voted on Tuesday to remove Mayor Jasiel Correia from office, Correia was a no-show when the the deadline came Friday to vacate the office of mayor.

City Council President, Cliff Ponte, held a press conference Friday afternoon, expressing his disappointment in the mayor’s lack of response, and said they will now have to pursue legal action.

"Since Mr. Correia refused to comply with the council's emergency vote, he has forced the council to take appropriate action," said Ponte.

Since Friday was the deadline, there now seems to be confusion over who is the mayor.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm the acting mayor," said Ponte Friday afternoon.

But just a few hours later, Correia contradicted him.

"I certainly know who the mayor is," said Correia. "And I think the city and the department heads here in the city of Fall River know who the mayor is, and that's me and I'm going to continue to do my job."

Correia called the move by the council president politically motivated, with a primary election coming up on Tuesday.

"Very suspicious that he would have this kind of a meeting and deadline the Friday before a primary election," said Correia.

The lone 'no' vote on the city council Tuesday night, Steven Camara, once again reinforced his belief Friday that the council's actions won't stand up in court.

"I believe that this is an action that is constituting some political upheaval, but it is not in the best interest of the city for this to move forward," said Camara.

Council President Ponte ultimately placed the blame solely on Correia.

"We don't have to go to court," said Ponte. "We don't need to use taxpayer dollars to fight this in court when the mayor could just resign from his duties as mayor and we could move forward."

Council President Ponte has not been sworn in.

He also said if people are expecting a show down between himself and Correia on Monday morning that that's not going to happen.

He plans to hold an emergency meeting Wednesday night for the council to decide how they'd like to proceed with their attorneys

 

WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019