Paterson residents say they aren’t surprised by mayor’s indictment

Paterson Mayor Joey Torres was indicted on corruption charges, along with three DPW supervisors.

Paterson Mayor Joey Torres was indicted on corruption charges, along with three DPW supervisors. (3/9/17)

PATERSON - A number of Paterson residents say they were not surprised to hear about the indictment of Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres on corruption charges.

“It’s just a bad look. Like the city of Paterson can never get it together,” says resident Zeno Legette.

The mayor has avoided the media since news broke that Torres and three Department of Public Works supervisors were charged. He has been seen leaving his home and going in and out of City Hall. He vehemently denied all the charges linked to the case.

Torres is accused of using the DPW supervisors to perform work on a building leased by his daughter and nephew and using city money and overtime to pay for it.

With rumors about the investigation rumbling around the city for several weeks, many residents say that they knew the indictment was coming.

“We knew it was going on for a long time,” says resident Nancy Arias. “It’s about time that justice gets to him.”

“I feel kind of robbed myself,” says Legette. “That money could have definitely been utilized to fix a lot of broken things in the city. Different programs were cut and things like that for the kids.”

Some residents say that they want to see a mayor who will help to improve the city.

“Obviously it’s a town that has a lot of issues with gangs, drugs, everything, and the best thing we could have is a mayor who can support us and brings us up and not do shady things in the background,” says resident Caitlyn Rumbaugh.

This is not the first Paterson mayor to face criminal charges. Former Mayor Marty Barnes was charged for corruption in 2002 and served time in federal prison.

Torres has not yet turned himself in to the state police. It is possible he will turn himself in Friday.

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