FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts mayor facing many federal corruption charges will be on the November ballot just after surviving a preliminary election.
Jasiel Correia was one particular of the two major 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 straight away 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 exact same evening. And he just 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 life-style and additional his political profession.
The city council final week voted to temporarily eliminate 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 creating false statements and had been released pending their sentencing.
Authorities say the two guys served as “middlemen” for Correia as he accepted money bribes in exchange for issuing official letters required to get a state license to operate a marijuana retail company. At least 4 company 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 regional job instruction plan, 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 but entered a formal plea to charges which includes extortion, conspiracy, and bribery.
Correia was when a increasing political star in Massachusetts just after becoming the old mill city’s youngest mayor when he was elected in 2015 at age 23.
The Democrat has confirmed resilient at the ballot box. He survived a bizarre March election in which he was recalled by voters and then promptly reelected the exact same evening.