Paterson Mayor Joey Torres to surrender on corruption charges, but unclear when

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Darla Miles reporting live (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

Paterson Mayor Joey Torres is expected to turn himself in for what the state attorney general calls a classic case of "old-school political corruption and abuse of power," but it is unclear when that will happen.

An indictment filed Monday alleges 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.

A state grand jury indicted Torres and three supervisors in Public Works. All are facing charges of: conspiracy, official misconduct, pattern of official misconduct, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, tampering with public records or information and falsifying or tampering with records.

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."

The name of the business owned by Torres' relatives is "Quality Beer" and was based at 82 East 15th St., in Paterson. Prosecutors said the daughter and nephew were planning to use the warehouse as a wholesale liquor distribution facility, but ended up terminating the lease after failing to obtain the necessary permits and license from the state.

"This is a case of old-school public corruption and abuse of power," Attorney General Porrino said. "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. We have zero tolerance for this type of abuse of public office in New Jersey."

Prosecutors said the work was performed by city employees between July 2014 and April 2015. Torres allegedly directed that the work be performed and supervised the work.
Related Topics:
politicscorruptionnew jersey newsjoey torresPaterson
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