Ten residents of Fall River, Massachusetts, are working on a recall petition to remove Mayor Jasiel Correia from office following his indictment on wire fraud and tax charges.
"Mr. Correia is now tainted by federal indictments that cannot be ignored," recall organizers argued in a petition to the city clerk's office. "No reasonable person would do business with the office of mayor or the city of Fall River ... fraud indictments of his personal and business dealings will reflect on the city and call into question his honesty and integrity."
The city clerk's office rejected the petition on a technicality because it wasn't notarized. A new petition is being submitted, and once it's verified by the Board of Elections, supporters of the recall will have 20 days to collect about 2,500 signatures.
"Our concern is if there are companies that are thinking of coming into Fall River, do they really want to sit across the desk from Mayor Correia right now?" said Joe Pereira, one of the recall organizers.
If enough valid signatures are turned in, the mayor can either resign or a new election will be scheduled within 65 days. The mayor would be eligible to run.
"I don't want him to leave," said Fall River resident Carolyn Flanagan, who's against the recall. "He's done so much for Fall River, good things for Fall River, we should keep him."
The mayor's office did not return a request for comment.
"He's a nice guy, as far as I'm concerned," said Fall River resident George Souza, who's against the recall. "I don't believe he did it."
Correia is accused of stealing about $230,000 from investors in an app he created.
Organizers of the recall say they will turn in their new, notarized petition next week.
"This guy's got to go," said Fall River resident Michael Pimentel, who supports the recall. "They have to get him out."