Fall River residents took up almost every seat in city council chambers early last week. They sat silently as their council members voted on whether or not to temporarily oust mayor Correia through an emergency order. 

For some residents, the win was a sign of relief. The city council demanded that Correia hand over his keys and government-issued car by last Friday. Correia was arrested on a total of 24 federal counts: 13 charges from his first arrest last October for allegedly defrauding investors from an app he started and 11 additional counts for allegedly extorting marijuana vendors for cash.

But Correia says he’s not stepping down and is banking on his supporters to be there for him in the preliminary election. 

"I’m not guilty of these charges," Correia said on the day of his second arrest. "I’ve done nothing but good for the great city of Fall River. Me and my staff and my team. And I’m going to continue doing things for our city. "

Regardless of his guilt or innocence, Correia still maintains a group of loyal supporters. About 30 of them, including the mayor’s father, stood outside city hall a few hours before the council’s vote.

Fall River resident Catherine Botelho was one of them.

"I love him like he’s my son," Botelho said as Correia approached her.  

"How do I feel about you?" Botelho asked Correia.

"Oh, you love me. And I love you," the mayor responded.

Correia has become a symbol of firsts in Fall River politics. In 2015, he was the city’s youngest person to be elected mayor at 23-years old and the first mayor of Cape Verdean descent. He was a fresh, new face in a city struggling, like lots of small former industrial towns, to rebuild itself.

According to Correia’s federal indictment, the mayor began personally profiting from his position shortly after he was elected. After Correia’s first arrest, an election was held where he was recalled and voted-in as mayor on the same night. 

Many of Correia’s supporters say he’s done good for the city and they want that to continue despite whatever so-called “personal setbacks” he may have. But how can voters still have such strong support for someone that’s been accused of everything from extortion to wire fraud?

Frank Farley, former President of the American Psychological Association, said it comes down to the supporter seeing themselves in the politicians they vote for. 

"Criticism of that candidate for some voters will be seen as criticism of their own judgment," Farley said. "We don't like to feel that we are wrong or misinformed on a particular vote. You know no one likes buyer's remorse."

Voters want to remain consistent in the decisions they’ve made. It's called confirmation bias. In a study from 2000, researchers found Democrats who voted for Bill Clinton were much less likely to say the president should be punished for lying under oath than Republicans. The study concluded that humans tend to embrace a position that restores or maintains their self-esteem.

Farley said, supporters also tend to look the other way if they can see progress being made in their city. 

"The electorate is amazingly forgiving about personal behavior of candidates," Farley said. "The electorate is interested in what that candidate is doing for them in the world of the economy and the things that they voted for really."

This isn’t a new political phenomenon. In Rhode Island...remember Buddy Cianci? The notorious mayor ran for re-election following felony convictions for assault and corruption and time in federal prison. 

Cianci didn’t end up winning the election. But Mike Stanton, author of The Prince of Providence, says there were people that were going to support Cianci no matter what. 

"People supported Buddy in spite of the fact that he had all this corruption around him and he was under indictment because they either felt that the good he did outweighed the bad or they loved him so much they couldn’t believe the bad things that were being said about him," Stanton said.

On Tuesday, Correia will face off against former recall election candidate Erica Scott-Pacheco and School Committee member Paul Coogan. The top two vote-getters will be placed on the general election ballot in November. 

The outcome of the preliminary election will determine whether or not supporters are willing to stick by Correia for the long term, or if his scandals will push them to reconsider.