PATERSON, NJ - Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres is facing a five year sentence, would be forced to resign, and plead guilty to second degree conspiracy charges under a plea deal offered by the Deputy General Peter Baker.
The three indicted Public Works Department employees Joseph Mania, Timothy Hanlon, and Imad Mowaswes would plead guilty to third-degree conspiracy and cooperate with authorities against Torres.
Torres allegedly ordered and oversaw work at a warehouse rented by his daughter and nephew in an attempt start a beer distribution company.
Torres' daughter resigned from the Passaic Valley Water Commission a week before the charges were announced March 8, but allegedly has yet to vacant her position, and the commission has yet to accept her resignation. Paterson owns the biggest stake in the commission with Clifton and Passaic also owning stakes and some council members questioned if the mayor used his influence to place her in that job.
There is also an ongoing federal investigation into other occurrences of work done to Torres' house, a liquor store his brother owns, and work done at his wife's office. This is part of a separate investigation which began after an NBC I-Team report which had footage of city workers moving freezers, doing clean up, and doing tasks in city vehicles while on the clock.
In November the FBI and DOJ raided city hall while the mayor and council headed to a retreat to recover documents pertaining to the investigation.
Torres' brother has spoke out saying that city workers were also paid by the family for the renovations done at the warehouse and said it is possible the workers were "double dipping." Records have not been produced that show the workers were paid by the Torres' family.
Mayor Torres in a statement last week in front of city hall, "I fully intend to vigorously defend myself against these allegations, and I look forward to the opportunity to present all of the facts in a court of law. I am confident when the full story is told, I will be vindicated."