New Paterson mayor wants to improve quality of life for residents

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PATERSON -

Paterson’s newest mayor says that she wishes to make the city a better place to live for its nearly 150,000 residents.

Council President Ruby Cotton took over for former Paterson Mayor Joey Torres Monday after Torres stepped down following a guilty plea in a corruption case.

“After we get through everything, a light is going to shine,” Cotton said.

Torres pleaded guilty to the charges Friday. He admitted to a scheme in which Department of Public Works employees renovated a warehouse owned by Torres’ family. Paterson taxpayers were billed for the labor. Three DPW supervisors also pleaded guilty.

Paterson residents say that they are glad that the scandal is now behind them.

“He’s going away. I’m glad he’s going away,” says one resident. “I’d be happy to walk him to his cell.”

Torres faces five years in prison when he is sentenced in November.

Cotton tells News 12 New Jersey that she plans to fill out the remainder of Torres’ term through June 2018. She says that she will focus on quality-of-life issues in the city.

“It has really gone down,” she says.

Cotton says that she most likely won’t seek re-election when her term is up.

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