Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia. (Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)
FALL RIVER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — City Councilors in Fall River have ousted embattled Mayor Jasiel Correia as he faces federal fraud charges.
Four days after federal prosecutors provided a list of corruption charges against Correia, City Council President Cliff Ponte presented reasons why the mayor should step aside. They include city morale, a threat to state and federal funding for Fall River, and the many legal battles Correia faces after his second arrest by federal agents in a year.
“You have to be realistic on how much pressure this mayor is under, how much of a distraction this must be for him on his ability to lead and perform his duties. And we must also be mindful of the image and the reputation of this community,” Ponte said.
Correia has denied the charges made against him.
“They are not true, not a single allegation is true. So, I’m going to fight it. I’m not going to cower. I’m not going to turn my back on the city,” Correia told WBZ-TV.
Ponte will be acting-mayor under a resolution, temporarily removing Correia from office, passed in an 8-to-1 vote Tuesday night.
Correia said he will fight the resolution.
“Tomorrow morning, I’ll continue to do my job at Government Center,” Correia told WBZ-TV Tuesday night.
The mayor is also campaigning for re-election against two challengers in the Democratic Primary in Fall River next week.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl (@KBuhlWBZ) reports