'I'm so sorry,' ex-mayor sobs before landing 5-year jail term

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 04:26:12 AM. Former Paterson Mayor Jose 'Joey' Torres was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for using city employees to do work at a planned liquor distributorship owned by his family members.
PATERSON -- Former Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres' fall from reformer to convict was completed Tuesday when a judge sentenced him to five years in prison for using city employees as workers at a planned liquor distributorship owned by his family members. Torres pleaded guilty on Sept. 22 to second degree conspiracy to commit official misconduct. As part of a plea deal, Torres will forfeit future public employment and pay the city $10,000. Torres wiped his eyes multiple times as his attorney, John Azzarello, spoke during the sentencing by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Sheila Venable. Clutching a tissue, Torres kept his hands folded restlessly and shuffled his thumbs. Torres addressed the judge, taking a big breath and looking up to the ceiling, trying to choke back tears. "I wholly regret," Torres said, pausing. "My lack of judgment or judgment that led me to these charges. I'm sorry." He went on to say he was remorseful and embarrassed. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," Torres said and let out a sob. "That's it your honor." He turned around a blew a kiss to his family. Behind him, a row of family members dried their eyes as they listened to Azzarello describe Torres as a diligent public servant who briefly "lost focus" on the right side of politics. Torres, a Democrat, served five terms on Paterson's City Council before he was elected Mayor in May 2002 over the incumbent Martin Barnes, who had been indicted by U.S. Attorney Chris Christie four months earlier. Torres swept...Read more
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