PATERSON, New Jersey - Paterson Mayor Joey Torres and his three co-defendants have all pleaded guilty in connection with what officials called "old-school political corruption and abuse of power."
Torres pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit official misconduct. As part of the guilty plea, Torres agreed to step down as mayor and will pay full restitution of $10,000 for the work performed on his family's warehouse.
The state will also recommend five years in prison with no parole at his sentencing.
Torres' lawyers asked to delay his resignation for two days to give him some time to deal with city issues before leaving office. The judge agreed, so he will forfeit his office Monday.
An indictment filed in March alleged that Torres commanded three supervisors to perform renovation work at a private warehouse leased by Torres' daughter and nephew while they were on the clock for the city. The work included painting, carpentry and electrical, and was performed by employees of the Department of Public Works.
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. I have been aware of the investigation for some time, and I have never wavered from the fact that I am innocent."
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