Joey Torres

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Jose Torres
Mayor of Paterson
Assumed office
July 1, 2014
Preceded by Jeff Jones
Mayor of Paterson
In office
July 1, 2002 – July 1, 2010
Preceded by Martin G. Barnes
Councilmember
Paterson City Council
In office
July 1, 1990 – July 1, 2000
Personal details
Born Paterson, New Jersey
Political party Democratic
Residence Paterson

Jose "Joey" Torres is the Mayor of Paterson, the third largest city in New Jersey. He was elected May 13 and was sworn-in July 1, 2014. Torres served two terms as mayor between 2002-2010 and had previously served five terms as a city council member.

Background

Torres is Puerto Rican American, born and raised in Paterson. He is the youngest of eight children of Juan Torres, who had immigrated to the city in 1949, and Catalina Torres. The family lived in the Christopher Columbus public housing and owned and operated bodega businesses.[1][2] He is married to Sonia Torres, who ran in a special election to represent of the 2nd Ward of city's council in 2012.[3][4]

Political office

Torres first won a seat on Paterson's city council in 1990 after having previously run five times. He served on the City Council for five terms. He later became the purchasing agent for the city's housing authority.[1]

Torres first became mayor in 2002, winning the seat from Republican incumbent Martin G. Barnes,[5] and won a re-election bid in 2006. He was defeated in by Jeff Jones in 2010.[6] He became the first Latino mayor of the city, which has a Hispanic-Latino majority. Torres was a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG).[7]

Torres ran for election as an independent in the 2014 mayoral race which took place on May 13, 2014.[8] He won the seat garnering 8,069. votes, in an election in which 22,896, or 30%, of the city's 76,059 registered voters participated.[9][10] Voting was characterised an unprecedented 2,413 mail-in votes, almost 800 more than the total absentee ballots cast in the previous three elections combined and more than twice as many as in 2010. Torres received 930 of the absentee ballots, 38.5 percent of the total and more than twice as many as any other candidate.[11] The mayor's salary was set at $119,000 per year after approval by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.[12]

In 2015, Torres has created the position of "deputy mayor", which are multiple, unofficial and unpaid. Their role is to advise the mayor on various aspects of city planning and to act as liaisons to Paterson's various ethnic communities.[13]

Fines and vacation payments

In 2012, Torres was fined $14,350 by Election Law Enforcement Commission for failing to include information on donors (names, occupations, employers and addresses) to his campaign for election in 2010.[14]

In January 2014, a 26-page report compiled by the city council reviewed payments made to Torres regarding salary payment irregularities. On July 29, 2008 Torres had written a memo to the city's treasurer "requesting a pay check for ten (10) vacation days from 2007". In March 2014, he returned $2,238 that he received in 2008 from $3,169 he claimed, saying it was a payroll error.[15]

During his last week in office in 2010 Torres received $73,996 lump sum payment claimed for sick leave and vacation time.[16] The city council asked that the funds be returned and questioned whether such a payment was legal or ethical. Torres said he was willing to repay the only if the New Jersey Attorney General’s office or the Passaic County prosecutor’s office found wrongdoing.[17]

Bunker Hill SID and Jackson Township administrator

After Torres' defeat in the mayoral election he was appointed business administrator for the municipal government of Jackson Township on Ocean County, New Jersey.[18][19][20] Amid criticism that he had abandoned the position to campaign and to take up his role as mayor of Paterson, he resigned on May 30, 2014.[21] Based on his work there, Torresis collecting a $68,000 pension.[22]

He was also appointed director of the Bunker Hill Special Improvement District, a business improvement district and Urban Enterprise Zone, established in 1994 in the Bunker HIll neighborhood, a mostly industrial area in the northwest of city along the Passaic River.[23][24] In May 2014 Torres said he would discuss resignation from the position after being sworn-in as mayor.[25][26] After his resignation the position was taken up by his wife Sonia.[27][28]

Retiree/Employee compensation controversy

As of 2014 Torres receives a full-time annual salary of $119,000 as mayor. He also receives free health coverage as a retiree based on his pension. based on the fact that the New Jersey treasury department approved his retirement and pension.Torres filed his pension application in May, one week after winning the mayoral election, at a time when he was working as business administrator in Jackson Township. The state approved a $68,000 annual pension for Torres that took effect June 1 and was based on 29 years and eight months of cumulative service time in his jobs with Jackson Township, the City of Paterson and the Paterson Housing Authority. The situation has led to questions about how he can be an employee and retiree of the city at the same time.[29]

Investigation of misuse of municipal workers

in March 2106 WNBC (Channel 4) broadcast videos of Paterson municipal workers conducting work at Torres's rivage home and that the business of a relative which ed to coverage in other press and the start of a state investigation.[30][31][32][33]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Newman, Maria (May 21, 2002). "New Leader Faces Entrenched Problems in Paterson". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Malingongo, Joe (May 28, 2014). "In his final days, father of Paterson's mayor-elect Torres took pride in son's success". NJ.com. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Charley Falkenburg; Joe Malinconico (November 6, 2012). "At the End of the Night, Sonia Torres Holds Lead in 2nd Ward City Council Race". The Alternative Press. Retrieved 2014-07-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman Wins 2nd Ward Council Seat". Paterson Times. November 26, 2012. Retrieved 2014-07-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Roberta Farber v. City of Paterson; Jose Torres; Elieser Burgos; Marge Dipasquale; Local 3474, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, Afl-cio, Appellant, 440 F.3d 131 (3d Cir. 2006)". Justia Law. Retrieved 23 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "In Paterson upset, Jeff Jones defeats Mayor Joey Torres". The Star-Ledger. May 12, 2010. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Appel, Heather (March 15, 2008) Paterson mayor says city faces daunting task Herald News
  8. Cristina Loboguerrero, Via El Diario/La Prensa, translated by Carlos Rodríguez-Martorell from Spanish (May 12, 2014). "Three Hispanic Candidates Vie For Paterson, NJ Mayor". Voices of NY. Retrieved May 15, 2014.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "PASSAIC COUNTY Statement of Vote". Passaic County. May 28, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Joey Torres regains mayor's seat in Paterson". The Star-Ledger. May 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Joe Malinconico; Abbott Koloff; Richard Cowen (May 15, 2014). "Joey Torres returns to Paterson mayor's seat". Passaic County. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Malinconco, Joe (July 11, 2014). "Paterson mayor's salary set at $119,000". The Paterson Press. Retrieved 2014-07-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Malinconico, Joe (March 18, 2015). "Paterson's Torres names Manzo, Vannoy as deputy mayors". The Record. Retrieved 2015-03-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Friedman, Matt (November 7, 2012). fines "Former Paterson Mayor Joey Torres fined $14K for campaign finance violations" Check |url= value (help). NJ.com. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Malinconco, Joe (February 21, 2014). "While Paterson mayor, Torres ordered payment for unused vacation days". Paterson Press. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. JOE MALINCONICO. "Paterson ex-mayor Joey Torres says staff approved waivers that lead to $73,996 severance check". NorthJersey.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Rahman, Jayed (March 14, 2014). "Torres repays smaller check, council demands the other $74,000". Paterson Times. Retrieved 2014-07-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. http://www.jacksontwpnj.net/documents/minutes/council_meeting_minutes/2010/11-30-10.pdf
  19. Stilton, Phil (May 8, 2014). "WHY DID OCEAN COUNTY REPUBLICANS HOST A $250 PER PLATE SHINDIG FOR NORTH JERSEY DEMOCRAT JOSE TORRES May 8th, 2014 JACKSON". The Shore Nes. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Bodner, Brett (May 15, 2014). "Jackson official elected mayor of Paterson". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 2014-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "AFTER TORRES SLIPS AWAY IN THE NIGHT, JACKSON HIRES INTERIM BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR June 10th, 2014". The Shore. June 10, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. JOE MALINCONICO. "Paterson mayor getting $68,000 pension along with his paycheck from City Hall". NorthJersey.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Bunker Hill Special Improvement District". Bunker Hill Special Improvement District.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Malinconico, Joe (January 11, 2013). "At Paterson's Bunker Hill Business District, Joey Torres Is the Top Man". Paterson Press. Retrieved 2014-07-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Malinconco, Joe (May 15, 2014). "Paterson campaign notebook: Torres returns to work in Jackson". Paterson Press. Retrieved 2014-07-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Editorial (May 20, 2014). "The Record: A full-time mayor for Paterson". The Record. Retrieved 2014-07-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Paterson mayor's wife fills vacant job left by husband, report says". NJ.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. JOE MALINCNICO. "Paterson mayor's wife gets part-time improvement district job he gave up". NorthJersey.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Malicongo, Joe (November 26, 2014). "Paterson mayor getting free medical coverage as city retiree". The Paterson Press. Retrieved 2014-11-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Exclusive: Videos Show NJ City Employees Working at Mayor's Home". NBC New York. Retrieved 23 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Paterson mayor accused of having city workers do odd jobs, shaking down developer". NJ.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. JEFF GREEN. "Private eye says NJ probing his records of Paterson employees working at mayor's home". NorthJersey.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. JOE MALINCONICO. "New evidence emerges that Paterson employees did odd jobs at mayor's home". NorthJersey.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>