PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The former mayor of Paterson, New Jersey is headed to prison for misconduct.
Jose ‘Joey’ Torres was sentenced to five years without the possibility of parole Tuesday.
He pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit official misconduct.
As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, he cried and issued a series of apologies in court.
“I’m sorry and embarrassed,” he said through tears. “To my family and friends, the clergy who’s here today, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”
Afterward, he turned around and blew a kiss to his family.
Citing a breach of public trust among other things, the judge handed down his sentence.
“I’ll place on the record the sentence of 5 years in state prison with no period of parole eligibility,” he said.
It’s what Torres did for his family that led to his downfall.
Torres admitted he directed city workers to renovate a warehouse leased by his daughter and nephew for their beer distributing business.
His defense attorney thinks the punishment is suitable.
“While I think it was fair I also think it would have been a fair sentence if he got less than five flat,” John Azzarello said.
His family cried cried as he was led away in handcuffs to begin serving his sentence.
Torres served five terms on Paterson’s City Council before he was elected mayor in 2002 over incumbent Martin Barnes. Barnes pleaded guilty and went to prison for charges stemming from a kickback scheme.
The judge also ordered him pay the city $10,000 and forfeit future public employment.
When he’s released, Torres will have to find work in the private sector. He’s barred from holding public office ever again.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)