JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ – Way back in 2010, nobody in Jackson wanted to hire former Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres to a $121,000 job as the Jackson Township business administrator. That is, except for Mayor Michael Reina and his puppet council members. In fact, there was an hours-long debate that raged (see videos below) from former Mayor Michael Kafton and the public as to why Reina should not hire his latest political hack to the position. The deal was facilitated by Reina and the Republican party to give Torres, a lifelong Democrat safe haven in Jackson with a large salary so he can get his three-year pension bump before returning to Paterson to run for mayor again.
Torres eventually left Jackson and went back to Paterson where he became mayor…then got himself put in jail for political corruption. It was the same sort of political corruption that he got away with for several years in Jackson while he was bumping his pension and riding high on the hog in Jackson, courtesy of Mayor Michael Reina.
Now, he’s out of jail and wants Jackson Township to continue to pay for his free lifetime medical benefits.
Torres, now 61, had to resign himself from the position of mayor in Paterson upon entering prison, he lost his free benefits.
According to a story over at NJ.com, his time on the job as business administrator in Jackson and his increased pension qualified him for the health benefits. Torres told NorthJersey.com he had no idea why the state dropped his benefits. Maybe it had something to do with a political corruption conviction and prison sentence?
He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 for having city employees work on private projects for his family and friends during working hours, paid for by the city. He was released on parole in 2018 after serving just 13 months in prison.
What is with these mayors in New Jersey with three names? Check out what this other “three named mayor” just tried to pull down in Toms River.