Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ daughter resigned from her job at the Passaic Valley Water Commission a week before her father was indicted for allegedly using public works employees on taxpayers’ dime to renovate a warehouse leased by her and the mayor’s nephew.
Clarissa Torres handed in her resignation letter on March 1st, 2017. Her last day at the commission will be May 16th, 2017, according to the commission. She did not provide a reason for her resignation.
The daughter was hired six months after Torres returned for a third nonconsecutive term as mayor of Paterson. She was hired for as an assistant personnel technician for $52,000, according to information provided by the commission at the time. Her resume fell short of the “ideal candidate” the commission was seeking, but she was hired nonetheless.
Torres defended his daughter at the time and said he did not exercise any influence in getting his daughter the job. Paterson, Clifton, and Passaic City own the Passaic Valley Water Commission. Paterson has the largest stake in the water company.
The daughter’s name surfaced yesterday when New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino unsealed indictments charging Torres and three public works supervisors with various corruption charges.
The mayor’s daughter Clarissa Torres and nephew Manuel Torres formed a company called “Quality Beer” which leased a warehouse at 82 East 15th Street. This warehouse was expected to be a wholesale liquor distribution facility which was being renovated by public works employees at the behest of the indicted mayor and three supervisors from July 2014 to April 2015.
The daughter and the nephew could not secure the needed permits and licenses from the state which led to the collapse of their endeavor at the location.
Clarissa Torres has not been charged with any crimes, said Porrino at his news conference on Tuesday afternoon without mentioning her name. When asked for the daughter’s name, the attorney general declined to provide it.
Torres and the three supervisors – Joseph Mania, 51, of Randolph; Imad Mowaswes, 52, of Clifton; Timothy Hanlon, 30, of Woodland Park — been charged with second-degree official misconduct, pattern of official misconduct, third-degree theft by unlawful taking or disposition, tampering with public records or information, and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records.
“Mayor Torres played the generous father and uncle, but he left the bill for his largess with city taxpayers, who paid for the overtime shifts that city employees worked at this private warehouse,” said Elie Honig, director of the Division of Criminal Justice, in a statement yesterday. He was referring to the painting, carpentry, and electrical work the public works employees handled at the warehouse and allegedly billed taxpayers overtime.
The indictment did not cover work public works employees handled at the mayor’s Arlington Avenue home.