PATERSON — Well, whad'ya know — turns out the mayor is guilty after all.

Jose “Joey” Torres on Friday admitted his involvement in a scheme in which Public Works employees got paid city money to work on a private warehouse leased by his daughter and nephew.

Before taking a plea deal this month, Torres, 58, had insisted after his arrest in March that he was not guilty and would seek re-election next year.

He now faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced. He will also be removed from office and must pay back $10,000 to the city.

(NJ Attorney General's Office)
Joseph Mania (NJ Attorney General's Office)
(NJ Attorney General's Office)
Imad Mowaswes (NJ Attorney General's Office)
(NJ Attorney General's Office)
Timothy Hanlon (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Also charged were DPW supervisors Joseph Mania, 51, of Randolph; Imad Mowaswes, 53, of Clifton; and Timothy Hanlon, 31, of Woodland Park.

State prosecutors say that Torres ordered the three DPW supervisors in 2014 and 2015 to work on the warehouse that his daughter wanted to turn into a wholesale liquor distribution facility — a business venture that never took off.

The state also says the workers falsified overtime on their timesheets for the work they performed for the mayor's relatives.

“Today, Mayor Joey Torres retracted his vigorous denials and promises of vindication and admitted to engaging in the old school corruption we charged him with earlier this year," Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said Friday.

"With this plea, Torres forfeits his position as mayor of New Jersey’s third-largest city, will never again be in a position to abuse the public’s trust, and will go to prison. Our message is that this type of arrogant abuse of power and public resources will not be tolerated in New Jersey.”

Torres' daughter worked for the Passaic Valley Water Commission before resigning after her father's bust.

The Democrat became the city's first Latino mayor 2002. He's lost re-election in 2010 but voters in the nonpartisan election returned him to City Hall in 2014. He previously had been on the City Council since 1990.

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