Randolph resident indicted with Paterson mayor

Jose Joey Torres center Mayor of Paterson N.J. holds up a National Park poster of the Great Falls during a ceremony in Paterson N.J. Wednesday

The men are charged with second-degree conspiracy, second-degree official misconduct, second-degree pattern of official misconduct, third-degree theft by unlawful taking or disposition, third-degree tampering with public records or information, and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records.

Prosecutors say Torres instructed Public Works supervisors Joseph Mania, Imad Mowaswes and Timothy Hanlon to work, or assign subordinates to do work, on the private property, while they should have been working for the city.

Torres issued a statement after the charges were announced, saying, "I am extremely disappointed and surprised that the Attorney General has elected to pursue this case and file these charges against me today". "Mayor Torres is alleged to have misappropriated public resources and workers to advance a family business, and his co-defendants allegedly joined in his blatantly crooked scheme".

Standing on the steps of city hall later Tuesday, Torres' executive assistant read a statement as he stood next to her. Several city political leaders - both supporters and opponents of Torres - said they do not expect the mayor to resign anytime soon.

Mania, in his capacity as a DPW supervisor, allegedly caused false time-keeping records to be submitted to the city, including overtime verification forms and bi-weekly timesheets. City workers were paid overtime for the work, the state says was not only ordered by Torres, but in which he oversaw. "Please be advised that at no time has any city employee, on city time, or overtime, or paid with taxpayer dollars, ever performed work for me at my home, or anywhere else", he wrote.


Torres, a three-term mayor, is expected to fight the indictment. An investigation by NBC New York a year ago claimed city employees were seen working at the mayor's home.

Martin Barnes remained in office as Paterson's mayor after he was indicted on federal corruption charges in 2002 and even ran for reelection later that year with the criminal case still pending against him. He was the first African-American mayor of Paterson.

"We were cooperating", he said.

Torres, a Democrat, said his "surprise" in the indictment was rooted in the open dialogue his lawyers had with the deputy attorney general handling the case and the recent meeting they had on February 14 to present Torres' side. Conviction or not, it is likely Torres will sit out future elections in Paterson.

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