A scheduled hearing on Friday for Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey’ Torres coupled with a despondent looking legal defense fund have created the impression among that whispering multitude hovering near the mayor’s office that he will accept a plea deal with the AG’s Office and create a vacancy.
The word on the street is six months in jail and then a braceleted probationary period.
Torres, charged with corruption, would create an opening for Council President Ruby Cotton to take the mayoralty. Another council person could challenge her for the seat by amassing a majority of his or her elected colleagues. Councilman Bill McCoy, Councilman Alex Mendez, Councilman Mike Jackson and Councilman Andre Sayegh have all expressed interest in succeeding Torres. McCoy and Mendez are already declared candidates, and a source told InsiderNJ that the former has poked around about his odds on winning if he opposes Cotton.
Cotton has said publicly that she won’t run for mayor herself next year if she holds the seat in a vacuum created by Torres’ departure. Others feeling out a 2018 run include former Police Director Glenn Brown, former Deputy Mayor Pedro Rodriguez, and Passaic County Freeholder Assad Akhter.
Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35) has consistently denied wanting to take a crack at City Hall, but a source as recently as today told InsiderNJ that the assemblyman may be taking one last turn on mulling over a citywide run.