BOSTON (AP) — The trial of a former Massachusetts mayor and his chief of staff facing corruption charges is scheduled to start early next year.

U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock at a hearing this week said he expects the trial of former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II and Gen Andrade to start Jan. 13, The Herald News reported.

They are being tried together despite objections from their attorneys.

Correia and Andrade were supposed to go to trial in May but that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Correia is facing a total 24 federal charges. Prosecutors allege he extorted $600,000 from marijuana vendors seeking to do business in the city, and bilked nearly $300,000 from investors in his smartphone app company.

Andrade is facing six counts for allegedly aiding Correia in the marijuana scheme and bribery regarding her position as chief of staff.

Both have repeatedly denied the allegations, saying they are politically motivated.

Andrade’s attorney, Charles Rankin, and Correia’s attorney, Kevin Reddington, asked for a delay given the continued risks of the coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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