Paterson Mayor Jose Torres Accused of Corruption

Paterson Mayor Jose Torres Accused of Corruption

The six-count indictment against Torres, Joseph Mania, Imad Mowaswes and Timothy Hanlon includes charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, pattern of official misconduct, theft, tampering with public records and falsifying or tampering with records. "Mayor Torres allegedly treated city workers like they were his personal handymen and treated taxpayers' dollars like they were his own".

Mania allegedly submitted false time-keeping records to the city, including overtime verification forms and bi-weekly timesheets, authorities allege.

"I am extremely disappointed and surprised that the Attorney General has elected to pursue this case and file these charges against me", Torres said.

The Attorney General's office said in a news release that, at Torres' request between July 2014 and April 2015, the three public works employees did work or assigned subordinates to do work at a private warehouse in Paterson leased by Quality Beer, a limited liability company formed by Torres' daughter and nephew.

Over the course of almost a year, workers renovated the property, painted, and performed carpentry and electrical work at at the building, prosecutors said.




As Torres' news conference came to a close, someone in the crowd yelled, "Lock Torres up!" and the mayor retreated back into City Hall before eventually leaving the building and driving away.

The supervisors also face corruption charges. The work, including renovation, painting, carpentry, and electrical work, was allegedly performed while the three supervisors and other DPW employees were working for and being paid by the City of Paterson. If convicted, he could be sentenced to spend up to 10 years in prison or pay up to $150,000 in fines.

Paterson, New Jersey's third-largest city, is a few miles from New York City.

Torres, the first Hispanic mayor of Paterson, won his first term in 2002 as a Democrat and was re-elected in 2006. In November, the FBI raided city offices as part of an investigation into the use of federal funds for a prisoner re-entry program.

So who might replace Torres and become Paterson's next mayor? He fought the indictment and unsuccessfully sought re-election that year, losing to Torres. He has spent most of that money on various events and his campaign account has a balance of about $84,000, according to state records.

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