Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correira

In our Association’s last May edition of The Voice we highlighted the Fall River Retirement Board and the City of Fall River itself.

We also named the young Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correira, in a positive sense, highlighting his website message:

Jasiel Correira: “Make it Here” is for the dream chasers, entrepreneurs, business-owned hungry graduates, and all those looking for reinvention in its myriad forms. Because they can make it here in Fall River whether a dream, a destination or the chance at a fresh start at a new day.”

However, events that have transpired since last May now lead to another evaluation of Mayor Correira. Earlier this December, 4,533 signatures of registered voters called for a recall election, 2,023 more than enough for the City Council to vote for a recall election.  The vote for a recall referendum date will take place at a City Council vote on January 2.

Correira’s flashy lifestyle has turned residents against him. A federal grand jury indicted him on charges that he defrauded investors who supported him on a product known as SnoOwl, which turned out to be an alleged scheme which he appears to attempt to conceal by filing false tax returns.

At age 27 he is accused of spending more than $231,000 which investors gave him for SnoOwl on expensive travel, casinos, adult entertainment and a luxury car which flied in the face of many residents of a largely blue-collar conservative Democratic city.

A memorandum filed in the case said that the government turned over about 18,257 pages of evidence to the defense. The next court date is scheduled for February 13 in federal court in Boston. Since his arrest this past October 11, Correira signaled that he would not relinquish power while his criminal case is pending.

Our Association’s Ralph White, author of last May’s Retirement Board article, says that a large percentage of money that Correira has raised is being used for legal expenses. Retirement Board members have been hesitant to openly criticize Correira, but at least one city official, who is not a Mayor’s supporter, said “Regardless of the charges and ultimate court decision Correira will stay Mayor as long as possible because he needs his salary for defense expenses.”

However, because of the positive language we gave the Mayor in our May retirement publication, we now reserve judgement. We will follow through with later news after his court case is resolved.

Interest At Fall River Retirement Board

Continuing to see further information of Mayor Jasiel Correia’s activity prior to his arrest by federal authorities on wire fraud charges:

Last fall he, a Democrat, was touted as a symbol of bipartisan support by his financial contribution to the Baker for Governor campaign. However, after the announcement of the federal charges on September 6th, he was quickly scrubbed from the Baker campaign website.

Further back, Correia’s childhood, in 2009 led a group of students at Bishop Connolly High School to be the first city in Massachusetts to enact a Youth Bill of Rights.

While at Providence College, he campaigned for Class President and quickly won that seat at age 20. At age 21, he sought a seat on the nine-member City Council and at age 22 was honored by the Council as Entrepreneur of the Year. He later was successful in winning the seat as Mayor of Fall River, the first Cape Verdean mayor and the youngest mayor in the city.

By not resigning his seat, the coming election will be its second recall election in five years. Correia says he “can and will” be among the candidates. Undoubtedly we will have the name of the other candidates after January 2.

Members of the Fall River Retirement Board are taking close interest in the recall election. Mayor Correia “technically” has two seats on the board. Jennifer Argo is the City Auditor, sometimes known as the board’s “ex officio member” because of her job title. With six years experience within the auditor’s department Mayor Correia promoted her to her current title.

Mark Nassiff, a private sector’s appointee to the Board is principal of the Nasiff Group, Inc. He’s been on the Board for ten years, originally appointed by a previous mayor and continues to serve under current Mayor Correia.

Bob “Skip” Camara, a Green Beret Vietnam Vet and 38-year retired firefighter, who was 24-year president of Firefighters Local 1314, is in his 5thterm as an elected Board member.

David Machado, a World War II Navy vet, served 33 years as a Fall River Police Officer. David had been President of the Mass Police Association and also President of the Fall River Municipal Employees Association for 21 years. At age 91 he’s still sharp as a tack.

Fall River Recall Election Date Set

At its January 2 meeting, the Fall River City Council voted to hold a mayoral recall election on March 12. Nomination papers became available starting Friday, January 4.

Voters will be able to cast ballots for the recall of Mayor Correia, or against such a move. Three hundred signatures are required for a candidate to be on the ballot with a deadline of February 6.

Correia has said he “can and will” be among the candidates on the upcoming ballot. It is expected that there will be two or more candidates in addition to Correia.

Last month city officials certified signatures of 4,533 registered voters in favor of a recall election needed to surpass the measure which required at least 2,000 votes.

The recall votes were in response to a federal grand jury indictment which led to Mayor Correia’s arrest last October accusing him of an alleged scheme by which he defrauded investors of over $231,000 and fake tax returns.

His next court date was scheduled for February 14 in Federal Court in Boston.