The Democrat mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, Jasiel Correia II, was arrested for the second time in six months and charged with extortion, conspiracy and bribery in a pay-to-play scheme that revolved around marijuana vendor licenses in the city.
Prosecutors allege that Correia demanded cash, campaign donations and bribes from business owners to be granted the licenses to sell marijuana legally in the city. He is also accused of demanding half of his former chief of staff’s salary in order for her to keep her job.
The chief of staff and other close associates are being charged as co-conspirators in the case. Correia pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him on Friday.
“I’ve done nothing but good for the great City of Fall River … and I’m going to continue to do great things for our city and that’s all I have to say,” he said to reporters outside the courthouse after the arraignment.
Prosecutors estimated that Correia took between $100,000 and $200,000 in payoffs.
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