FALL RIVER, MASS. (WHDH) - Ten Fall River residents who voted in a special election last week which resulted in embattled Mayor Jasiel Correia getting ousted from office and reelected on the same night have filed a lawsuit in an effort to prevent the official vote from being certified.
A recall election took place on Tuesday for Correia, who declined to step down after being charged last year with defrauding investors in an app he developed.
Voters were given a two-part ballot, in which they were first asked whether Correia should be recalled and then were asked who among five candidates should become mayor.
Correia was recalled, and then received the most votes on the second question.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Bristol Superior Court, states Correia should not be allowed back in office because his name should have never been on the ballot in the first place.
“Jasiel Correia was recalled and that, as a result, he was ineligible to run separately in part two, which under the current city charter allows only the name of qualified candidates,” part of the civil complaint stated.
Correia has pleaded not guilty in federal court to collecting more than $360,000 from investors to develop an app that was supposed to help businesses connect with consumers, according to prosecutors.
He also allegedly spent more than $230,000 of the funds to bankroll a lavish lifestyle and advance his political career.
“The mayor has put us in a very tough situation, and I think the council as a whole has done a tremendous job trying to preach stability even though we respectfully disagree on some items and respectfully agree on others,” Fall River City Council President Cliff Ponte said.
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