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Court: Fall River Mayor Can Stay In Office, Despite Council Vote To Remove Him

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia speaks beside his attorney Kevin Reddington outside the federal courthouse in Boston after his appearance on bribery, extortion and fraud charges. Correia pleaded not guilty. (Philip Marcelo/AP)
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia speaks beside his attorney Kevin Reddington outside the federal courthouse in Boston after his appearance on bribery, extortion and fraud charges. Correia pleaded not guilty. (Philip Marcelo/AP)

The embattled mayor of Fall River has won a legal battle in his effort to stay in office.

A judge Thursday denied the City Council's request for an order that would temporarily oust Mayor Jasiel Correia from office.

The council voted last month to remove Correia, who has pleaded not guilty to federal extortion and fraud charges.

The judge ruled the city charter allows the council to remove a mayor who has been convicted of a felony, but not a mayor who has only been charged with one.

Correia told The Herald News he was "glad to see the judge and court ruled in my favor."

Council Vice President Pam Laliberte-Lebeau called the judge's decision disappointing.

Joe Pereira led an effort to recall Correia in March. Now he says the council should just let the voters decide next month.

“We applauded the Council for having the fortitude to try it," he said, "and I think most would agree it would be senseless at this point to to drag it back into court.”

Correia faces school committee member Paul Coogan in the Nov. 5 general election.

With additional reporting by WBUR's Simón Rios.

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