PATERSON-Former Jackson Township Business Administrator Jose “Joey” Torres said today that he is innocent of charges against him levied by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
“I am extremely disappointed and surprised that the Attorney General has elected to pursue this case and file these charges against me,” Torres said. “I have never wavered from the fact that I am innocent.”
Torres is being charged for allegedly directing public workers to perform work at a beer distribution facility being opened by his family. The work, including renovation, painting, carpentry, and electrical work, was allegedly performed while the three supervisors and other DPW employees were working for and being paid by the City of Paterson. City workers were paid overtime for the work, the state says was not only ordered by Torres, but in which he oversaw.
“This is a case of old-school public corruption and abuse of power,” said Attorney General Porrino “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.”
Torres today said he was shocked because his lawyer had been engaged in dialogue with the Attorney General’s Office as recently as February 14th.
“We were cooperating,” he said. “We were notified at the last possible moment that the state would be unsealing an indictment.”
“Thankfully, we live in a country where everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Torres added. “an indictment is not a proof of any wrongdoing.”
Torres said when the full story is told, he will be vindicated. Torres said he will not step aside from his duty as mayor and will continue working for the city.
“I do not intend to let these baseless charges deter me from those more important tasks,” Torres said.