Fall River Mayor Wins Court Battle With City Council, Can Stay in Office

The council wasn't given the right to remove a mayor by the city's charter, a justice found

A move to temporarily remove Fall River, Massachusetts, Mayor Jasiel Correia from office after his recent arrest was denied by the Bristol County Superior Court on Thursday.

The Fall River City Council had filed the motion after Correia was arrested on federal extorion and fraud charges last month. Correia is now set to remain the city's mayor until at least Jan. 3, 2020, when his current term comes to an end.

Justice Raffi N. Yessayan ruled that the council wasn't given the right to remove a mayor by the city's charter.

"The Court's ruling represents an important victory for the voters of Fall River, who alone enjoy the authority to elect or remove their Mayor," Correia wrote in a statement to NBC affiliate WJAR. He added that he "looks forward to continuing to work with the City Council to serve the residents of Fall River."

The council had voted 8-1 in favor of removing Correia from office. He is up for reelection after coming second in September's primary election. when Correia will face Fall Fiver School Committee member Paul Coogan.

Correia, 27, is accused of extortion and tax and wire fraud charges involving the city's marijuana vendors; he has said he is not guilty. September's arrest was his second within a year.

He is also set to go to trial on Feb. 24, 2020, on charges of stealing investor funds for his app company.

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