Maneri, a Trump supporting Republican, is the first candidate to officially announce their candidacy, hoping to succeed Mayor Michael Reina, also a Republican in the township’s non-partisan election next year.
In his first statement, Maneri said one of the things he will do if elected mayor of Jackson would be to call for a forensic audit of former township Business Administrator Jose “Joey” Torres’ tenure with the township. Torres, just days ago was sentenced to prison for his role in a political corruption scandal as the mayor of the city of Paterson.
It was there where Torres was caught misusing government employees for his own financial gains and benefit. Maneri said he would proceed with a long overdue forensic audit of Torres’ time here in Jackson.
“As Mayor, I will do a full audit during the period the convicted Joey Torres served as Jackson business administrator without a college degree as originally required by law,” he said. “There will be zero tolerance for this nonsense.”
Last week, Torres was sentenced to 5 years in prison without being eligible for parole after pleading guilty to corruption in Paterson and ordered to pay the city $10,000 in restitution. Torres is also barred from holding any public office in the future.
Torres was hired in what could best be described as a political dog and pony show which saw the township council change a township ordinance to allow for Torres to be eligible to serve in the town’s most powerful position. Torres was chosen in a 4-1 council vote. Torres was nominated by current Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina.
Torres abruptly left his job as the business administrator in Jackson after winning his election to become the mayor of Paterson. He was described as a no-show employee while he was campaigning for mayor there.