Ex-Paterson school board member, convicted of taking bribes, declares run for mayor | Paterson Times

Ex-Paterson school board member, convicted of taking bribes, declares run for mayor


Former school board member Chauncey Brown, who was convicted for taking bribes, announced a run for mayor on Friday morning.

“The people of Paterson are not being served by its leadership. Politicians of Paterson are more concerned about parades, street naming, and raising money for their foundations,” said Brown. He is running to expand recreation, tackle increasing property taxes, and curb crime, he said. He also wants to clean up the city’s parks, he said.

Brown, 54, said providing more recreation to young people in the city will be one of his top priorities. “We have no after school recreation for our kids and we’re not going to have summer programs for our kids. These guys were elected to serve the community, but the community is not getting any services,” he said. “I want to invest in the biggest recreational complex.”

He will have to provide voters more detailed plans on exactly how he plans on expanding recreation, stabilize taxes, and curb crime as the 2018 mayoral campaign season gets underway. The field of potential candidates for the race include incumbent mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, former mayor Jeffery Jones, assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, former school board member Pedro Rodriguez, and council members Andre Sayegh, William McKoy, and Alex Mendez.

Mendez and Rodriguez have made their intentions public. Both men have said they intend to run. Torres announced his re-election at a fundraiser last year. Jones, who opened a campaign account for the 2018 race, said on Thursday evening, “I’m considering.”

Brown, a registered Republican, will likely have a tougher time in his bid for the mayor’s office. He will have to tell voters why they should trust a man who previously betrayed public trust by taking $13,000 in bribe money to assist an undercover company to secure insurance business from the Paterson Public Schools.

Brown was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in federal prison on a bribery conviction in June of 2009 after pleading guilty to taking several corrupt payments totaling $13,000 from the undercover company between September and December 2006.

Then-U.S. attorney Chris Christie charged Brown with “extortion under color of official right” for taking cash payments from the FBI’s cooperating witness and promising it’s “not gonna be a problem” for the company to secure district insurance business. He even admitted to introducing the cooperating witness to an assistant superintendent at the district to help the company secure insurance contracts.

“Why should I be penalized for a mistake that I made 10 years ago? Everybody deserves a second chance,” said Brown. When asked if he will be able to take officer due to his past conviction, he said his legal team has not found any laws that will prohibit him from taking office.

When told about New Jersey’s public office forfeiture law which forbids former convicts from taking office, he said: “We’ll cross it when we get to it.”

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  • http://www.browncgroupllc.com Chauncey I. Brown III

    To all my friends, family and supporters. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, for your wisdom, encouragement and support for my candidacy for MAYOR 2018. No one in life is perfect, I have made my share of mistakes and Lord knows, I may make mistakes in the future. The key is to learn and not to repeat them again. This election is about the people of Paterson being under served and taken for granted by our current leadership. However, my opponents I am sure will try and use my past against me. I have something to share with them. JOHN 8:7 He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. The issues Paterson residents face are unprecedented. Crime, Drugs, Homelessness, Taxes, Home foreclosures and Drastic Cuts to Recreation programs are on the raise at a alarming rate. We need a plan to tackle these issues head on instead of sweeping them under the carpet. My candidacy is about those issues and not about me. So let us all keep our eye on the ball and lets come together and Change The Direction of Paterson for our children and residents. May our Lord continue to watch over Paterson and its residents as we change the future of Paterson.

  • Marie Morgan

    I'm curious. Is it possible for some of these ideas to be put into place without it coming from the mayor's office? It just seems that everyone wants to be chief and sells this wonderful dream of what it would be like if they held the top spot. But why can't these same people get together with like-minded individuals and form interest groups to provide the same resources to the community? If people care about the cleanliness of the parks and additional recreational services for the children, I'm sure there are other ways to make a difference regardless of whether you win an election or not.

  • Truth Matters 2017

    Im sorry im all for giving someone a second chance at life, or at anything in life. But when it comes to politics, we've seen time and time again that giving someone a second chance when theyve already committed mistakes, is also a mistake. Torress showed exactly that as he fucked the city over once, and did so again in his 2nd term. We cannot do it again, no matter who it is. We need a fresh start to fix the city's issues at hand, and it cannot be done with a single mayor. It requires a mayor and a whole team of supporting cast who also have the same vision.

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    I thought if you are convicted of bribery /corruption there is a part that you are bared from ever becoming a public servant ever again. We need to do what China does with corrupt politicians, they are a cancer on our country and do more damage than ISIS and USSR together.

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    Ask yourself "Would I buy a used car from this man?"