FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts mayor facing several federal corruption charges will be on the November ballot soon after surviving a preliminary election.
Jasiel Correia was a single of the two top rated vote-getters in Fall River’s preliminary election for mayor Tuesday. He now faces off against college committee member Paul Coogan/neighborhood advocate Erica Scott-Pacheco in the Nov. five common election.
The 27-year-old Correia pleaded not guilty this month to charges accusing him of extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana firms.
But it is not clear if Correia will promptly step down.
Correia has steadfastly denied the mounting accusations and refused to resign. He lost a March recall vote, only to be re-elected on the similar evening. And he merely ignored the city council’s vote to temporarily oust him final week.
Correia pleaded not guilty this month to charges accusing him of extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana firms. He has also pleaded not guilty to federal charges of defrauding investors in a smartphone app he was creating in order fund a lavish way of life and additional his political profession.
The city council final week voted to temporarily get rid of Correia from workplace, but Correia has refused to leave, saying the council lacks the authority.
As Fall River voters headed to the polls Tuesday, the marijuana extortion case against the embattled mayor moved forward in Boston.
Antonio Costa, 51, of Fall River, and David Hebert, 54, of Westport, each pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of extortion, conspiracy and generating false statements and have been released pending their sentencing.
Authorities say the two males served as “middlemen” for Correia as he accepted money bribes in exchange for issuing official letters necessary to acquire a state license to operate a marijuana retail business enterprise. At least 4 business enterprise owners paid a total of $600,000 in bribes, authorities say.
Documents unsealed Tuesday also show that Hildegar Camara, who was appointed by Correia to head a nearby job education system, has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. The 58-year-old Fall River resident faces extortion and conspiracy charges, was placed on paid leave from his government job this week, and is due in court Thursday.
The fourth co-conspirator in the case is Correia’s former chief of employees, Genoveva Andrade. The 48-year-old Somerset resident hasn’t however entered a formal plea to charges like extortion, conspiracy, and bribery.
Correia was as soon as a increasing political star in Massachusetts soon after becoming the old mill city’s youngest mayor when he was elected in 2015 at age 23.
The Democrat has established resilient at the ballot box. He survived a bizarre March election in which he was recalled by voters and then promptly reelected the similar evening.