“The last week of Jose Torres leaving city office he was paid $74,000,” (video) said Aslon Goow, the former 2nd Ward councilman, earlier in the week, during the City Council meeting, while circuiting a paper that showed Mr Torres, the former two-term mayor of Paterson, pocketed $73,996 just prior to leaving office.
Mr Torres says he was paid the lump sum of money because of the number of sick days he had accumulated throughout his days in office. Prior to admitting, he had taken the money, he attempted to put down his political rival Mr Goow by asserting that he was insane and liable to saying nonsense. However, Mr Torres did admit of receiving the check. Although his sick days reason appear legitimate at first, the city has put in place regulations that prevent employees from accumulating large number of sick days, rendering his reason for the check not as credible.
The last three mayors of the city, who were interviewed by the Record, each stated they did not receive a large payment during the last days in office, making Mr Torres’ presumed severance check unprecedented, and possibly nothing more than stealing from the taxpayers. Members of the city council, the supposed watchdog over the administration, were oblivious to the payment; Jeffery Jones, the mayor of the city, says he knew about the check and attempted to make it public, but no one would listen to him.
Mr Torres who has been secretly campaigning, his signs are ubiquitous in vehicles around the city, for the coming mayoral election in 2014, will likely suffer a political set back if he does not come clean on his check, something he has yet to do. Members of the council have launched an investigation into the severance check to determine its legality. Mr Goow demanded answers from the council during his brief speech stating, “You’re going tell me why Joey Torres received a lump sum check of 74k the last week in office.”