Paterson mayor declines comment on corruption case during address

Posted: Updated:

Paterson Mayor Joey Torres delivered his State of the City address Tuesday but declined to comment on his ongoing corruption case. 

Torres spoke for nearly 40 minutes addressing Paterson city issues, problems and improvements. But he would not comment on his impending court case.

“I’m staying on topic. That’s not on topic,” he told News 12 New Jersey.

The mayor was charged with using city DPW employees to renovate a warehouse owned by his relatives while billing taxpayers for the labor.

Torres noted during his speech several examples of how he saved Paterson taxpayers money.

But while the mayor highlighted plans for the city going forward, including addressing public safety, taxes, and quality of life issues, some residents say that they have their own concerns about Paterson.

“There’s too many kids standing on the corners not doing a thing,” says resident Wanda Oliver. “They have nothing to do.”

“Here and there I hear little gunshots,” says mother Diamon Hightower. “It’s kind of frightening you know? For me and my son sometimes.”

Torres has until September to accept a plea deal in his case. He would be sentenced to five years in prison if he takes the plea, half of what he faces if convicted.

Three DPW workers who were also charged in connection with the crime were offered plea deals for no jail time if they testified against the mayor. They also have until September to decide.

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