Law & Justice

Activists and Residents Still Surprised by the Failed Vote of No Confidence Against Mayor Torres

Credits: Corey L. Teague

PATERSON, N.J. -  Nearly a month removed from charges being first announced against Mayor Torres, Paterson activists and residents are still surprised at the failed vote of no confidence against Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres last week.

The week prior council president William McKoy continued calls for a no confidence vote on Torres, while residents who attended called for him to resign.

A vote of no confidence is a symbolic motion made by a legislative body where representatives vote as a means to express their dissatisfaction with a public official. This does not mean that the public official would be removed. The last time Paterson City Council held a vote of no confidence was in 2012 against Jeff Jones.

Sign Up for E-News

The Council mulled the decision for a few weeks since corruption charges against Torres were first announced for a vote of no confidence amid uncertainty if there would be enough votes to pass the motion.

Sixth Ward Councilman Andre Sayegh, who voted “Yes,” said that he was “disappointed by the council. “It’s been documented [that] overtime has been abused and unfortunately it has come at the expense of our summer camps and our pools, which we had to fight to keep open...and I hate it when children because of the wrongdoings of adults,” Sayegh stated, “it looked like the council had no confidence in the Council President because he was the one advocating strenuously for it.”

Fifth Ward Councilman Luis Velez defended his “no” said that, “He will have his time in court, that’s why I stated that if anybody wants an answer to the no confidence of him, it will be the judicial system.”

Believing in something similar, Second Ward Councilman Shahin Khalique said that Torres will have his day in court. “The mayor is under criminal indictment and a vote of no confidence changes nothing,” Khalique said about his vote. He added that, “as a governing body, we should not politicize this issue and we should concentrate on doing work for the residents and taxpayers.”

In previous weeks since the charges were announced mostly residents opposed to Torres staying in office voiced their opinions and came to meetings to speak out against the mayor. Tuesday the council chambers was partially filled with residents wearing "I believe in Torres" shirts and holding signs saying "I am Torres" in a show of support for the mayor.

Velez commented on Torres’s supporters who came to the meeting and said that he respected them and that, “there were different types of people speaking- people from the private sector, taxpayers, and normal residents. They’re entitled to support whoever they wish.”

Last week Torres surrendered to State Police in Totowa, a week after corruption charges were announced against him and three DPW supervisors. The charges stem from a warehouse in Paterson that was leased to Torres' daughter and nephew where DPW workers did renovations while on the clock for the city. Torres allegedly ordered and oversaw work at the warehouse in an attempt to help his family start a beer distribution company.

In response to the charges filed against him, Mayor Torres stated, "I am extremely disappointed and surprised that the Attorney General has elected to pursue this case and file these charges against me today. I have been aware of the investigation for some time, and I have never wavered from the fact that I am innocent.”


TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Paterson Resident Says Let Inauguration of Governor Murphy be an Example for Paterson

January 16, 2018

Dear Editor, 

Today I witnessed the awesome, solemn and peaceful transfer of power from Governor Chris Christie to Governor Phil Murphy thanks to the generous invitation of Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly.

Indeed, this was my first State of New Jersey Governor's inauguration. It was a thrill and an honor to be in attendance.  These are the days that you can truly say that you ...

Freeholder Assad Akhter Applauds Appointment of Dr. Shereef Elnahal as New Jersey Commissioner of Health

January 10, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Passaic County Freeholder Assad Akhter, who sat down exclusively with TAPinto Paterson last week to discuss how he believes the County of Passaic and City of Paterson can work more closely together in 2018,  released a statement in support of the appointment of Dr. Shereef Elnahal to the position of Commissioner of Health for the State of New Jersey, the first ...

Paterson’s Dr. Christopher Irving Resigns from Board of Education to Serve in Adminstration of Governor Phil Murphy

January 17, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Just over 24 hours after taking the oath of office New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has added a Paterson voice to his Administration.

Dr. Christopher Irving, a member of the Paterson Board of Education for nearly eight years, has been appointed as Assistant Commissioner of Education. His role, Irving told TAPinto Paterson, is still evolving but might include helping to ...

Red Cross blood shortage prompts urgent call for blood and platelet donations during National Blood Donor Month

January 17, 2018

This January, National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet ...

Drink Your Way to a Healthier 2018

January 13, 2018

It’s that time of year again, just 13 days in and you’ve probably already broken that New Year’s Resolution.  “New Year, New Me” has already gone out the window! This will be the year where we actually start going to the gym regularly and eating healthier.  Not so fast!. However, it’s not too late to get back on track, and while fitness and a healthy ...