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Fall River Mayor Declines To Resign, Forces A Recall Election

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, in a January 2016 file photo (Stephan Savoia/AP)
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, in a January 2016 file photo (Stephan Savoia/AP)

The mayor of Fall River will face a recall election after declining to resign at the request of the City Council. More than 4,500 Fall River voters submitted signatures to force the recall.

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II is charged with tax and wire fraud, allegedly cheating investors in a company he owns.

In a letter to the City Council Wednesday, Correia said the decision over his resignation is not his alone to make, but that it also belongs with the people of Fall River.

"If it is their will to allow me to continue to serve as Mayor, then I shall continue to serve for as long as I am able," Correia wrote in the letter.

Organizers collected nearly twice the number of signatures needed to force the recall. After certifying the motion, the Fall River City Council gave Correia until the end of business Wednesday to resign or face a recall.

Council President Cliff Ponte said in a text message that the mayor is putting the city of Fall River in a difficult position. "If the mayor cares about his city as much as he says he does, he would step aside and deal with his personal issues," Ponte said.

Federal prosecutors say Correia spent more than $230,000 of investor money for personal expenses. Twenty-seven year old Correia denies the charges. The City Council will convene a special meeting next Wednesday to set a date for the recall election.

Shannon Dooling Twitter Reporter
Shannon Dooling is an immigration reporter at WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.

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